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.DEC 9 1968 , ■ 

BX 7251 .H66 185A ' ( 
Hopkins, Samuel, 1721-1803 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Princeton Theological Seminary Library 

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^^'^ 18 1968 










VOL. I. 




Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by 

Sew ALL Harding, 

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of ^lassachusetts. 



The Doctrinal Tract and Book Society now ofFer to the public a col- 
lected and complete edition of the Works of Dr. Samuel Hopkins, with a 
new Memoir of his life and character. The Memoir has been prepared, 
after an extensive examination of Dr. Hopkins's manuscripts in this country 
and in England, by Edwards A. Park, D. D., Abbot Professor of Theology 
in the Theological Seminary, Andover. 

Hopkins's System of Divinity has already passed through two editions. 
Some of his other treatises have been published in several editions, but have 
been long out of print. His writings have never, until now, been collected 
and published in one uniform edition. From the important place he occupies 
in tlie history of the theology of New England, from his very intimate con- 
nection with both the Edwardses and Bellamy, and above all, from the in- 
trinsic merit of his various treatises, it has been tliought due to the present 
generation, that a collected edition of his works should be published. No 
minister or theological student can afford to be without his Works, as with- 
out them no one can fully understand the religious history of New England 
during the last century — a period fraught with such important changes and 
events in all our civil and religious institutions. 

In issuing tliis edition, while we are constrained to express our profound 
regard for Dr. Hopkins as a great and good man, and as a most discriminat- 
ing and powerful writer, and while we regard his works as among the most 
valuable additions to our theological literature, we must also here say, as 
we said of Bellamy's writings, and as we expect to say of other works which 
we may publish : " We do not feel responsible for every sentiment that may 
be advanced, as we do not presume to abridge their Avorks, or to alter their 
phraseology. We leave each author to utter his own views, in his own way ; 
that the public may have a knowledge not only of their real sentiments, but 
also of their style of writing, and, in some measure, the times in which they 
lived. We would have those eminent men, who contributed so much by 
their stern integrity, their consistent piety, and their ardent attachment to 
the unadulterated truths of God's Word, to give character and stability to 
our institutions, speak for themselves. We revere their memory and praise 


God for such an ancestry. Their works contain excellences which are not 
often found in the present issues from the press. Their intimate and living 
acquaintance with the Bible, their profound mode of thinking, the spiritual 
tone of their piety, and their masterly discussions of the principles which 
have given character to the churches of New England, are scarcely less 
necessary to us than they were to their contemporaries." 

In editing the Works of Hopkins, we have been more than ever impressed 
with a sense of their unspeakable value, and of the uncommon acuteness 
and greatness of their author. The more he is known, so much tlie more 
will the depth of his piety be acknowledged and revered. 

By a perusal of the Memoir, the reader will see that few divines have exerted 
a more extended political and religious influence than Dr. Hopkins. He was 
not only a great theologian, but a. great reformer, consistent, conservative, 
and yet, in the good sense of the term, progressive. He was greatly in ad- 
vance of his age m almost every good work. The issue of this edition is 
well timed, as the fundamental principles here advocated are equally appli- 
cable and adapted to the reforms of the present day, and of all succeeding 
days, as they lay the axe at the root of tlie tree of evil, and are the founda- 
tion of all that is virtuous and good. 

With these views, and believing the work we now issue is well fitted to 
detect error and delusion, to reform what is vicious, to exhibit and enforce 
the pure and distinguishing doctrines of revelation, and, by the grace of 
God, to convince, convert, and save men, we now commit it to the public, 
with the earnest prayer that the divine blessing may attend it. 

It is here due to the Editor to say, that the arrangement would have been 
somewhat difiJerent, the treatises more accurately classified, had the ma- 
terials all been before him in the beginning ; but several of the sermons and 
other articles came to our knowledge after the work was partly set up. This 
apparent want of system, which was thus made unavoidable, is remedied by 
a full index of the whole, at the close. 

It is with great pleasure that we acknowledge essential aid rendered by 
several individuals in furnishing documents and manuscript articles, and 
especially the liberal donation of the Hon. Charles W. Hopkins, of Great 
Barrington, towards furnishing the stereotype plates of these Works of his 
honored grandfather. 

S. H. 

Boston, May, 1852. 



A RECENT number (CXI.) of the Westminster Review contains the fol- 
lowing remark : " A fault of the Americans, to which we fear they are be- 
coming more and more addicted, is a certain tendency to decry the abilities 
and virtues of their most distinguished historical characters." The justness 
of this remark, is apparent in the disposition of some American authors to 
" depreciate the merits of Samuel Hopkins. The ensuing Memoir is by no 
means a full vindication of this distinguished " historical " personage. An 
adequate account of his life and labors would fill a large volume. Tlie 
materials for such a volume are still extant. A selection from them is now 
given to the public. This selection is sufficient to prove the strength and 
the piety of Hopkins, as well as his great influence upon the American 

In publishing his Journal, Letters, and other manuscripts, no attempt lias 
been made to correct their faulty style ; but they are printed, in the main, 
as they were originally written. In some few instances, Avhere his words 
were illegible, or very obscure, the biographer has inserted, ivxtldn hrackels, 
the terms or plirases which seemed to express the idea intended in the origi- 
nal manuscript. 

For many of the facts stated in the ensuing pages, the biographer is in- 
debted to surviving parishioners or personal friends of Dr. Hopkins, and to 
several literary gentlemen who have interested themselves in antiquarian 
researches. He owes especial thanlis to Hon. William R. Staples and Jolm 
Kingsbury, Esq., of Providence, R. L, Walter Channing, M. D., of Boston, 
Mass., Professor James L. Kingsley, of New Haven, Conn., Rev. William 
B. Sprague, D. D., of Albany, N. Y., Rev, Brown Emerson, D. D., of Sa- 
lem, Mass., Rev. Calvin Hitchcock, D, D., of Randolph, Mass., Rev. Jolm 
Ferguson, of Whately, Mass., and to many others who have rendered him 
important aid. He has derived much information from the voluminous cor- 
respondence of Dr. Hopkins, from two manuscript letters of the late Rev. 
William E. Channing, D. D., of Boston, Mass., from the Literary Diary ol 
President Stiles, and from the following printed works : " Sketches of the 
Life of the late Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D., Pastor of the First Congrega- 


tional Church in Newport, written by himself; interspersed with marg;inal 
notes extracted from his private diary : " with an Introduction by Stephen 
West, D. D., Pastor of the Church in Stockbridge, Mass. ; published in Hart- 
ford, Conn., 1805; — "Reminiscences of the late Rev. Samuel Hopkins, 
D. D., of Newport, R. I., illustrative of his character and doctrines, with 
incidental subjects : from an intimacy with him of twenty-one years, while 
Pastor of a sister Church in said town, by William Patten, D. D." 1843 ; — 
" Memoir of the Life and Character of Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D., former- 
ly Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Newport, Rhode Island : 
with an Appendix ; by John Ferguson, Pastor of the East Church in Attle- 
borough. Mass ; " published in Boston, 1830. The author of the last-named 
work was, for many years, a member of the church to which Dr. Hopkins 
had ministered, was an intimate friend of the widow of Dr. Hopkins, and 
was personally acquainted with many facts illustrative of Hopkins's charac- 
ter. The Memoir which Mr. Ferguson wrote has been very fully indorsed 
by Rev. Caleb J. Tenney, D. D., of Wethersfield, Conn. In a letter dated 
December 11, 1843, Dr. Tenney wrote to Mr, Ferguson: 

" I have lately reperused, with increased interest, your brief Memoirs of 
the Life of the late Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D., of Newport, R. I. 

" My residence in his family during several of the last months of his life, 
I recollect, now forty years ago, as a very highly-favored passage in my OAvn 
life. This acquaintance with one of the best men, and one of the ablest di- 
vines, whom I have ever known, and my settlement with the same church 
and people to v/hom he ministered, afforded me peculiar opportunity to learn 
his character and the facts in his history. 

" Of many things in your Memoirs, I had personal knowledge, and of most 
of the other things, I had the most authentic information, and can most un- 
hesitatingly say, that the public may rely upon your Life of Hopkins as 
prepared Avith great accuracy and fidelity, and as approaching well to a 
perfect presentation of the original in actual and real life." 

It may be added, that nearly all the more important statements in the en- 
suing Memoir have been submitted to some of Dr. Hopkins's former friends, 
and have been inserted in the Memoir with their approval. Several of the 
manuscripts here published, have not been seen by the biographer, but were 
copied for him by trustworthy friends. 

Edwards A. Park. 

Andoteb Theological Seminary, 
March 16, 1852. 



Sect. I. Family and Birth, pp. 9-12. Religious character of Hopkins's an- 
cestors, p. 11. Dr. Hopkins, of West Springfield, Massachusetts, — Dr. Hop- 
kins, of Haclley, Massachusetts, — and Dr. Lemuel Hopkins, of Hartford, Con- 
necticut, p. 10. 

Sect. H. Childhood, pp. 12, 13. Correctness of demeanor, — love of home, 
p. 12. 

Sect. III. College Life, a?id early Religions Ilislory, pp. 13-20. Discipline 
in logic, p. 13. Preparation for metaphysical theology, pp. 13, 14. Eminent 
classmates, p. 14. lielation to the moderate Calvinists, p. 15. Interest in 
Mr. Whitefield, p. 15; — in Mr. Gilbert Tcnnent, pp. 16, 18. Interview -^^ith 
David Brainerd, pp. 16, 17. Conversion, pp. 17, 18. First mention of Presi- 
dent Edwards, p. 18. Mrs. Edwards, p. 19. Mental dejection, pp. 18, 19. 
Dr. Buell, ji. 19. Circumstances attending Hopkins's conversion, in their in- 
fluence upon his subsequent life, p. 20. 

Sect. IV. Residence at Northa7n2)ton, and Study of Theology, pp. 20-24. 
Family of President Edwards, — interview with Mrs. Edwards, p. 21. Her 
Hopkinsian sentiments, p. 22. Hopkins begins to preach, p. 23. Length of 
time spent with President Edwards, pp. 23, 24. 

Sect. V. Private Journal, p. 24. 

Sect. YI. EurUcst Efforts in the Christian Ministry, and Feelings in View of 
them, pp. 24-26. Christian modesty, — despondency, p. 25. Christian hope, 
pp. 25, 26. Self-dedication, p. 26. Saturday fasts, p. 20. 

Sect. VII. Reasons for Hope and Discouragetnent on Entering the Sacred Of- 
fice, pp. 27-32. Personal appearance of Hopkins, pp. 27, 28. Appearance in 
the pulpit, p. 28. Style of elocution and of writing, pp. 28, 29. Fondness 
for strong expressions, pp. 29, 30. Want of fitness for popular oratory, pp. 
30, 31. Personal diflidcncc, p. 31. Occasional power over his hearers, pp. 31, 
32. Approbation of his earliest efforts in the pulpit, p. 32. 

Sect. VIII. Ordination at Housatonick, or Great Barrington, pp. 33-35. 
Condition of the place, pp. 33, 35. Smallness of salary, p. 34. Fever and 
ague, p. 34. Ordination day, p. 35. 

Sect. IX. Mr. Ilojikins in his Parochial Labor, pp. 35-37. Temperance re- 
form, p. 35. Feelings of a missionary, pp. 35, 36. Faithfulness to young 
converts, p. 37. 



Sect. X. Extemporaneous and Expository Preaching, pp. 38, 39. Mr. Ser- 
geant's objections, p. 38. Reading of the Bible in public service, pp. 38, 39. 
Memoriter preaching, p. 39. 

Sect. XI. Interference of Colonial Trotihles icith Mr. Hopkins's Ministry, pp. 
40-43. Sacrifices for his country, p. 40. Disturbance of worship, pp. 40, 41. 
Nearly three months' absence on an Indian scout, p. 41. President Ed- 
wards's fits, p. 41. Removal from Great Barrington for safety, p. 42. Acci- 
dent to Mrs. Hopkins, p. 42. Letters to Dr. Bellamy, pp. 41-43. Martial 
spirit, p. 43. 

Sect. XII. Interest in the Aboriginal Tribes, pp. 44, 45. Preaching to the 
Indians, p. 44. Invitation to settle over them, p. 44. Influence in securing 
President Edwards, as their missionary, p. 44. Intimacy between Hopkins 
and Edwards, pp. 44, 45. Correspondence with President Wheelock, p. 45. 

Sect. XIII. Sermon to the Indians, pp. 45-49. Natveti in preaching, p. 45. 
Interesting circumstance connected with this sermon, p. 46. 

Sect. XIV. Social Intercourse, pp. 49-51. Visits to President Edwards, pp. 
49, 50- Their theological importance, p. 50. Criticisms on Edwards's Works, 
p. 50; — on Bellamj''s "Works, pp. 50, 51. Dismission of President Edwards, 
p. 51. 

Sect. XV. Studious Life at Great Barrington, pp. 51-53. Number of hours 
daily spent in study, — temperance in diet, p. 52. Extent of his reading, 
p. 53. 

Sect. XVI. Domestic Life and Family at Great Barrington, pp. 54-58. Let- 
ter to his mother, p. 54. Her death, p. 54. His marriage, p. 55. Death of 
his father, pp. 55, 56. Aid to his brother. Dr. Daniel Hopkins, p. 56. Friend- 
ship with Mr. John Norris, p. 56. Mark Hopkins, Esq., p. 57. Dr. Hop- 
kins's treatment of his children, p. 57. Brief account of them, pp. 57, 58. 

Sect. XVII. Influence on Piiblic Men, pp. 58-64. Dr. Jonathan Edwards, 
pp. 58, 59. Hopkins recommends exercises in elocution, p. 59. Dr. Stephen 
"West, pp. 59, 60. Dr. Samuel Spring, p. 60. Rev. David Sanford, pp. 60-62. 
Candor of Hopkins, p. 63. Connection of the early Hopkinsians with benev- 
olent institutions, pp. 60-64. 

Sect. XVIII. General Influence in the Community, pp. 64-67. Half-way 
covenant, p. 64. General opposition to Edwardcanism, pp. 64, 65. Hopkins 
invited to New Jersey, p. 65. Relations to the college of Ncav Jersey, pp. 65, 
66. Presidency of the college, p. 66. Female prayer meeting in Boston, p. 67. 

Sect. XIX. Ministry at Great Barrington, — its Termination and Results, 
pp. 67-72. Admissions to his church, p. 67. His strict Calvinism unpopular, 
pp. 68, 69. Opposition of the Tories to Hopkins, p. 69. His popularity at 
Salem, Massachusetts, — letters to Bellamy, p. 70. Dismission, pp. 70, 71. 
Bad effects of it, p. 71. 

Sect. XX. Depth of Mr. HopJdns's Religiotis Feelings during and after his 
Residence at Great Barrington, pp. 72-76. His humility, pp. 72, 73. Adora- 
tion, p. 74. The Trinity, p. 74. Delight in God, p. 75. 

Sect. XXI. Second Candidateship, pp. 76-79. Opposition to his settlement 
at Newport, pp. 76, 77. Power of his farewell sermon, pp. 77, 78. Triumph 
over the opposition, pp. 78, 79. 

Sect. XXII. Connection of Mr. Hopkins with Dr. Ezra Stiles, his Clerical 


Neighbor at Newport, pp. 79-83. Moderate Calvinism of Dr. Stiles, p. 79. His 
opposition to Hopkins's settlement, pp. 79, 80. His account of the installa- 
tion, p. 80. His learned sermon, p. 81. Subsequent friendship -with Dr. Hop- 
kins, p. 82. 

Sect. XXIII. Early Prospects and Sxiccess at Newport, pp. 83-86. Relative 
importance of the town, p. 83. Qualifications of Mr. Hopkins for usefulness 
in it, p. 84. His various labors and success, pp. 84, 85. Church discipline, 
pp. 85, 86, 

Sect. XXIV. Visit from Mr. llliitefield, pp. 36, 87- Intercourse of White- 
field with Hopkins, p. 86. Their debates, p. 87. 

Sect. XXV. Affectionate Intercourse tcith Friends, pp. 87-89. His strong 
friendships indicate the type of his theology, pp. 87-89. Intenseness of reli- 
gious joy, p. 89. 

Sect. XXVI. Effect of the Revolutionary War upon the Ministry of Mr. Hop- 
kins, pp. 89-92. His parsonage destroyed, meeting-house injured, people im- 
poverished, p. 90. Increase of infidelity, p. 91. Charitable assistance ren- 
dered to his church, pp. 91, 92. His want of ministerial success owing, in 
some measure, to pohtical causes, pp. 91, 92. 

Sect. XXVH. Conduct in the Midst of Poverty, pp. 92-95. Dr. W. E. 
Channing's description of Hopkins, p. 92. Influence of his freedom from av- 
ai-ice, on his theology, p. 93 ; — on his pastoral life, p. 94. Testimony of Dr. 
Walter Channing, p. 94. 

Sect. XXVIH. Three Years' Absence from Newport, pp. 95-98. Labors 
with Dr. Spring, at Ncwbxiryport, p. 95. Success, pp. 96, 97. 

Sect. XXIX. Christian Edification; the Osborn Society, pp. 98-101. Hop- 
kins's success in improving the character of the church, p. 98. Character of 
Mrs. Osborn, p. 99. Miss Susanna Anthony, p. 100. Miss Donelly, pp. 
100, 101. 

Sect. XXX. Hopkins misreprese7ited, pp. 101-107. Resemblance between 
Hojikins and Edwards, p. 101. Channing's description of Hopkins, p. 101. 
Incidents from Dr. Patten, pp. 102, 103. Hopkins on mfant damnation, p. 
103. His rule, in speaking of the absent, p. 103. Interview with the walking 
philosopher, — inquisitiveness of Hopkins, p. 104. Dispute with Mr. Murray, 
pp. 105, 106. Charge of illiberality, p. 107. 

Sect. XXXI. Letter to Dr. Stiles, ^^.\(il-\l2. Important acknowledgment 
of Dr. Stiles, — his respect for the personal character of Hopkins, p. 108. The 
two axioms of Hopkinsianism, pp. 108, 109. Its unpopularity, p. 109. Dr. 
Channing's explanation of Hopkins's unpopularity in the pulpit, pp. 109, 110. 
Confession of Hopkins himself, pp. 110, 111. His love of soHtude, p. 111. 
His success in the pulpit imdcrrated, p. 112. 

Sect. XXXII. Hopkins as a Reformer, pp. 112-114. Channing's opinion 
of him as a reformer, p. 112. Abstinence from ardent spirit and tobacco? — 
opinions on Free-masonry, p. 113; — on lotteries, p. 114. Possession of a 
slave, p. 114. 

Sect. XXXIII. Public Opposition to the Slave Trade and to Slavery, pp. 115- 
118. Buckminster's opinion of Hopkins, — interest of Newport in the slave 
trade, p. 115. Heroism of Hopkins in opposing slavery, p. 116. Effect of his 


Dialogue, p. 117. Honorary member of manumission societies, — interview 
•with Dr. Bellamy, p. 118. 

Sect. XXXIV. Interest in Abolition Societies, and in Political Action agaimt 
Slavery, pp. 119-129. Hopkins's knowledge of human nature, — acts of the 
Rhode Island Legislature against Slavery, p. 119. Newspaper essays against 
slavery, pp. 120, 122, 124. Esteem for the Quakers, pp. 120, 123. Clerical 
action against slavery, pp. 121-123. Abolition societies, pp. 125-128. 

Sect. XXXV. Christianization of Africa, -^t^.I^^-M?). Interview with Dr. 
Stiles, on the subject, pp. 129, 130. Two candidates for missionary life, pp. 
130, 131, 133. First missionary circular signed by Drs. Stiles and Hopkins, 
l)p. 131, 132. Results of it, pp. 132, 133. Dr. Chauncy's opposition to Hop- 
kins, p. 133. Second missionary circular, pp. 134-136. The third and fourth 
missionary candidates, p. 136. Correspondence with Phillis Wheatley, pp. 
137, 138. Monthly meeting for prayer, — an Education and a Missionary So- 
ciety, p. 138. 

Sect. XXXVI. Colonization of Africa, pp. 138-154. Its connection with 
the evangelization of Africa, p. 138. First distinct allusion to the colonization 
scheme, p. 139. Opinion concernmg Dr. Thornton, p. 139. Correspondence 
with Granville Sharp, pp. 140-143. Correspondence with Dr. John Erskine, 
pp. 143, 144. Union of the plan for evangelizing, with the plan for colonizing 
Africa, pp. 144, 145. Arguments for colonization, pp. 145-148. Proposal to 
secure the aid of the National Government for colonizing Africa, p. 146. Pro- 
posal to form a Colonization Company, pp. 146, 147. Hopkins's perseverance 
and generosity in the cause of African missions and colonization, pp. 148, 149, 
153. Correspondence with Zachary 'Macaulay, pp. 150-153. 

Sect. XXXVII. Newport Gardner, pp. 154-156. His remarkable talents, 
p. 154. Circumstances comiected with his liberation, pp. 155, 156. His per- 
severance in the plan of returning to his native land, — his embarkation, — 
death, p. 156. Liflucnce of Hopkms upon him, pp. loo, 156. 

Sect. XXXVIII. Church Action in Regard to Slavery, pp. 157, 158. Meas- 
ures for securing the freedom of a slave owned by Dr. Hopkins's deacon, — 
resolution against slavery, p. 157. 

Sect. XXXIX. The United States Cotistitution and the Slave Interest, pp. 
158, 159. Hopkins's opinion of the Constitution, pp. 158, 159. 

Sect. XL. Relative Position of Hopkins among the Friends of the Slave, pp. 
159-165. His predecessors in opposing the slave system, p. 160. His priority 
to many others, p. 161. His precedence to others, in the scheme of evangeUz- 
ing Africa, p. 162 ; — and in the colonization scheme, pp. 162-164. His influ- 
ence in promoting the colonization cause, pp. 164, 165. Samuel J. MiUs, pp. 
164, 165. 

Sect. XLI. Interest in the Negro Po^mlation of Neicport, p. 166. Negro 
subscribers to his System of Divinity, — testimony of Dr. Channing, p. 166. 

StCT. XLII. Interest in Natio7ial and Church Polity, pp. 166-169. His Fed- 
eralism, p. 166. His opinion on the "Plan of Union," p. 167. His Church 
Articles, pp. 167-169. Relation of children to the church, p. 168. Duty of 
the church in regard to the support of its pastor, p. 169. 

Sect. XLIH. Influence of Hopkins' s Personal Character upon his Theological 
System, pp. 169-187. His honesty, p. 170. His strength of character, pp. 170, 


171. His love of investigation, and of metaphysics, p. 171. His benevolence 
and sense of justice, pp. 172, 173. His union of the doctrines pertaining to 
sovereignty, decrees, etc., with those pertaining to human freedom, pp. 172- 
175. Agreement with Edwards and Emmons, pp. 173-175. His tenacity of 
purpose, pp. 175, 176. His love of free, rational, and biblical inquiry, pp. 176 
-180. His situation in life favored his independence of thought, p. 177. His 
defence of New Divinitj', pp. 177, 178. His disregard of human authori- 
ty, pp. 178, 179. His love of progress, pp. 179, 180. Fears with regard to 
him, p. 180. His deference for the Bible, pp. 180, 181. Its influence on his 
theological style, p. 181. His modesty, pp. 181-184. Indisposition to claim 
originality, pp. 182, 183. His system Calvinistic, pp. 183, 184. His confi- 
dence in the extent of divine truth, — success of his theological labors, pp. 
184,185. His comprehensiveness of mind, pp. 185-187. Combination of doc- 
trines often regarded as antagonistic, pp. 185, 186. Repugnance of his prin- 
ciples to Pelagianism, p. 187. 

Sect. XLIV. Writings of Hopkins, pp. 187-231. Their relation to New 
England theology, pp. 187, 188. 

A. Discourses on Sin, pp. 188-190. Suggested by his religious feelings, p. 189. 
Opposed on the ground of their high Calvinism, p. 189. Illustrative of their author's 
reverence for God, and hatred of si^, p. 190. 

B. Inquiry concerning the Promises of the Gospel, pp. 190, 191. Hopkins's opin- 
ion on the state of infants, p. 191. 

C. Reply to Mills on the Character of the Sinner's Acts, pp. 191-193. This work 
contains the most noted peculiarity of Hopkinsianism, pp. 191, 192. Written amid 
severe opposition, p. 192. Apology for his severity, p. 193. 

D. Reply to Hart's Dialogue. — Epithet " Hopkinsian," pp. 193-197. Works pub- 
lished against Dr. Hopkins, pp. 194, 195. 'Their spirit, pp. 194—196. Relation of Hop- 
kinsianism to Edwardeanism, p. 195. Feelings of Hopkins in the midst of his contro- 
versies, pp. 196, 197. 

E. Work on Holiness, pp. 197-199. Opposition of Dr. Hemmenway, pp. 197, 198. 
Charges against Hopkins, p. 198. Opposition to him from England, p. 199. 

F. Sermon on the Divinity of Christ, p. 199. Review of it in the Spirit of the Pil- 
grims, p. 199. 

G. Sermons on Law and Regeneration, pp. 199-201. Germ of Emmonism, p. 200. 
Character of the New England Calvinism, at that period, p. 201. 

H. Work on Future Punishment, pp. 201-203. Style of it, p. 202. Respect of 
Hopkins's opposers for his personal character, p. 202. 

I. Theological System, pp. 203-209. Dedication of it, pp. 203, 204. Remarks of 
Dr. Edwards upon it, pp. 204-207. Hopkins represented as imaginative, pp. 207, 208. 
President Langdon's pamphlet against Hopkins's System, p. 209. 

J. Dialogue on Disinterested Submission, pp. 209-212. Its Calvinistic spirit, pp. 
209, 210. Hopkins's mode of preaching on this topic, pp. 210, 211. Dr. Channing's 
remarks on Hopkins's theory of Disinterested Submission, pp. 211, 212. 

K. Volume of Sermons, p. 212. Invincible ignorance excuses a transgressor, p. 212. 
Divine decrees and human liberty, p. 212. 

L. Writings on Slavery, p. 213. 

M. Biographical Writings, pp. 213-215. Importance of Hopkins's Memoir of Ed- 
wards, pp. 213, 214. Resemblance between Hopkins and Edwards, pp. 213, 214. 

N. Editorial Labors, pp. 215-220. Hopkins's account of Edwards's manuscript^ 



pp. 215, 216. Hopkins's opinions on Original Sin, pp. 216, 217. Discouragements in 
editing the Works of Edwards, p. 217. Edwards's Treatise on the Nature of Virtue, 
pp. 218, 219. Relation of Hopkins to Edwards, and comparison between them, pp. 
219, 220. 

O. Miscellaneous Essatjs, pp. 220-222. Comment on Galatians iv. 12, pp. 221, 222. 

P. European Correspondence, pp. 222-223. Letters in regard to Abraham Booth's 
writings, pp. 222, 223. Andrew Fuller's controversial correspondence with Hopkins, 
pp. 223-227. Fuller's opinion of Hopkins, pp. 224, 227. Epistolary intercourse with 
Dr. Ryland, pp. 227, 228. Ryland's opinion of the American divines, pp. 227, 228. 

Q. Home Correspondence on Theology, pp. 228-231. Letter to President Davies, 
pp. 228-231. 

R. Collected Works, p. 231. 

Sect. XLV. Hopkins's Confidence in his Theological System, pp. 231-233. 
His Catholicism, pp. 231, 232. His farewell to the world, p. 232. Dedication 
of his Treatise on the Millennium, pp. 232, 233. 

Sect. XLVI. Testimonies in Favor of Hopkins, and of his Theology, pp. 233- 
238. Pecuniary donation to him, pp. 233, 234. Transatlantic reputation, p. 
234. Respect of his antagonists for him, pp. 234, 235. Progress of his opin- 
ions, pp. 236, 237. Letter to Andrew Fuller, pp. 235-238. Hopkins's opinion 
of Dr. Dwight, p. 235. 

Sect. XL\1I. Familiar Conferences, pp. 238-240. Social character of Dr. 
Hopkins, pp. 238, 239. Order of the Christian graces, p. 239. Prayer in view 
of God's immutability, pp. 239, 240. 

Sect. XLVIIL Household Life at Newport, Tpp. 2i0-2io. Death of his first 
wife, p. 240. Life and character of his second wife, pp. 240, 241. Study 
chamber, pp. 241, 242. Regular habits, pp. 242-245. Poverty, p. 243. Per- 
sonal appearance in his old age, p. 244. Two portraits, p. 244. 

Sect. XLLK. Shock of Paralysis; Reflections ; Self- Examination, pp. 245- 
252. Submission to the divine will, pp. 245, 246. Examination of himself, 
pp. 246, 247. Signs in favor of his Christian character, pp. 248-250. Feel- 
ings in view of sin, p. 248 ; — of Christ, pp. 248, 249. Religious Discourage- 
ments, pp. 250-252. 

Sect. L. Preaching after his Paralysis, p. 252. His perseverance, — New- 
port Gardner, p. 252. 

Sect. LI. Perseverance in his old Friendships, especially to the Edwards Fam- 
ily, pp. 252-259. Hopkins not a mere metaphysician, pp. 252, 253. Letter to 
Rev. Mr. Judd, pp. 252, 253. Sketch of Madam Edwards's character, pp. 254 
-256. Sketch of Mrs. Burr's character, pp. 256, 257. Letter to Aaron Burr, 
pp. 257-259. 

Sect. LII. Revival of Religion, p. 259. The ministerial life of Hopkins be- 
gan and ended in a revival, p. 259. 

Sect. LIH. Death, pp. 260, 261. Its calmness and triumph, pp. 260, 261. 

Sect. LIV. Funeral, Grave, pp. 261, 262. 

Sect. LV. Re-interment; Mo7iument at Great Barri7igton, -pp. 262-26i. Re- 
flections of future visitors at his grave, p. 263. Monument at Great Barring- 
ton, p. 264. 




Preface, 1 



Reflections, 27 



Reflections, 57 





Improvement, 146 



Improvement, 161 



Improvement, 167 



MEN 169 

Sect. I. Divine Providence, as it respects the Angels, . . . 169 
II. The Providence of God, as it respects Man in a State of Inno- 

cency, 176 

Improvement 203 



Improvement, 242 




Improvement 260 



Improvement, 312 



Improvement 358 



Sect. I. On the Application of Redemption in general, . . , 363 

-II. On Regeneration, 367 

,111. Conversion, 374 

IV. Disinterested Affection, 378 

Improvement, 388 

V. Divine Illumination, 399 

Improvement, , . . 417 



Sect. I. Saving Faith, . 421 

Improvement, ......... 452 

II. Justification by Faith in Christ, 457 

Improvement, 482 

III. The Covenant of Grace, 486 

Improvement, ......... 495 

rV. Manner of the Dispensation of the Covenant of Grace, and the 

Preaching of the Gospel, 496 

V. All true Believers do persevere in Faith and Holiness, to the 

End of Life, and will be saved, 511 

Improvement, 618 

VI. The BeUever's Assurance of Salvation, . . . 519 

Improvement, 629 


The biography of a pioneer teaches some useful lessons. If, in 
despite of all obstacles, he have achieved good results, he stimulates 
to better deeds men wlio have better advantages. His life may illus- 
trate the hardy and practical virtues. Failing to gratify the taste, it 
may invigorate the resolution. Hopkins made his Memoir of Ed- 
wards not so much a work " of friendship for the dead as of kind- 
ness to tlie living ; " and the present Memoir of Hopkins is «' only 
an attempt to render a life that has been greatly useful yet more so." * 


The name of Hopkins has been highly honored among the Puri- 
tans of New England. Stephen Hopkins came to Plymouth, Mas- 
sachusetts, in 1620, a passenger in the Mayflower. Edward Hopkins, 
governor of Connecticut, and a benefactor of Harvard College, 
arrived at Boston, Massachusetts, with Mr. Davenport, in 1637. 

I. John Hopkins, (who is conjectured by some to have been a rela- 
tive of the twti named above,) the ancestor of the theologian, settled at 
Cambridge in 1634, was admitted freeman in 1635, and removed to 
Hartford, Connecticut, in 1636. He died in 1654, leaving a widow, 
.lane, and two children, Stephen and Bethia. 

II. Stephen Hopkins, only son of John, married Dorcas Bronson, 
dau"hter of John Bronson, of Farmington, and resided at Hartford, 
Connecticut. He died in 1689, and his widow in 1697. He names 
in his will six children, viz., John, Stephen, (who married Sarah 
Judd, November 17, 1686,) Ebenezer, Joseph, Dorcas, (who married 
Jonathan Webster, May 11, 1681,) and Mary Hopkins. 

III. John Hopkins, [eldest] son of Stephen, of Hartford, settled 
in Waterbury, Connecticut, where he died November 4, 1732. His 
wife died May 30, 1730. Their children were John, born March 29, 

■* Preface to Hopkins's Life of Edwards. 


1G8G ; Consider, born November 10, 1687 ; Stephen, born November 
19, 1689 ; Timothy, born November 16, 1691 ; Samuel, born De- 
cember 27, 1693 ; Mary, born January 27, 1696-7 ; Hannah, born 
April 23, 1699 ; Dorcas, born February 12, 1706. Samuel, the fifth 
son, became an exemplary minister of the gospel. He was gradu- 
ated at Yale College in 1718, was ordained at West Springfield iii 
1720. He died in 1755. In 1753, he published a volume, entitled 
" Historical Memoirs relating to the Housatunnuk Indians, or an 
Account of the Methods used and Pains taken for the Propagation 
of the Gospel among that heathenish Tribe, and the Success thereof, 
under the Ministry of the late Rev. Mr. John Sergeant ; together 
M'lth the Character of that eminently worthy Missionary ; and an 
Address to the People of this Country, representing the very great 
Importance of attacliing the Indians to their Interest, not only by 
treating them kindly, but by using proper Endeavors to settle Chris- 
tianity among them." He was an uncle of the subject of this 
3Iemoir, and seems to have had considerable influence in directing 
the sympathies of his nephew towards our aboriginal tribes. He 
married a sister of President Edwards ; one of his daughters became 
the wife of John Worthington, LL. D., of Springfield, Massachusetts ; 
and one of his granddaughters became the wife of Fisher Ames. 
He was the father of Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D., of Hadley, Mas- 
eachusetts, five of whose daughters were married to the five follow- 
ing clergymen : Dr. Emmons, of Franklin ; Dr. Spring, of Nevv- 
buryport ; Dr. Austin, of Worcester ; Rev. William Riddel, settled 
first in Bristol, Maine, afterwards in Whitingham, Vermont ; and 
Rev. Leonard Worcester, of Peacham, Vermont. These five divines, 
all of them clear thinkers, were all firm disciples of the subject of 
this Memoir, who was the cousin of their father-in-law. Their 
wives, also, were intelligent theologians of the Hopkinsian school. 
Few men could cope with them in an argument. (It ought to be 
mentioned, however, that Mrs. Emmons, although educated by Dr. 
Hopkins, of Hadley, was his step-daughter only. She was very 
young when her mother was married to Dr. Hopkins, who succeeded 
her first husband in the ministry* at Hadley. On the other hand, 
Dr. H. had another own daughter, married to a gentleman who, at 
the time of his marriage, was prepared and expecting to preach the 
gospel ; but ill health prevented his doing so more than a few times.) 
Stephen, the third son of John Hopkins, and another uncle of the 
theologian, was the grandfather of Dr. Lemuel Hopkins, who was a 
distinguished physician of Litchfield and Hartford, Connecticut, and 
was associated with Trumbull, Barlow, Alsop, Theodore Dwight, 
and others, (called the "Hartford wits,") in the Anarchiad, the 
Echo, Political Greenhouse, the Guillotine, and similar satirical com- 
positions. He was a poet, and is said by President Allen to have writ- 
ten for Barlow the celebrated version of Psalm cxxxvii., " Along the 


banks where Babel's current flows," etc. — Hon. Samuel Miles 
Hopkins, LL. D., of Geneva, New York, was a great-grandson of 
the same Stephen Hopkins. 

IV. Timothy Hopkin.?, the [fourth] son of John, of Waterbury, 
married Mary Jiidd, daughter of Deacon Thomas .Tudd, of Water- 
bury, .Tune 25, 1719. He died in Waterbury, February 5, 1748-9, 
aged 57. Their children were Samuel, the subject of this Memoir ; 
Timothy, born September 8, 1723, who left two children ; Huldah, 
born December 22, 1725, who married Abijah Richards, and left 
eight cluldren; Hannah, born April 11, 1728, who married Thomas 
Upson, and left three children ; Sarah, born May 25, 1730, who 
married Timothy Clark, and left one child ; James, born June 26, 
1732 ; Daniel, born October 16, 1734 ; Mary, born June 27, 1737, 
who married John Copet, and left one child ; Mark, born September 
18, 1739. 

John Hopkins, the grandfather of the divine, who is called on the 
town record Lieutenant Hopkins, was often a representative to the 
legislature, from Waterbury, between 1710 and 1726. Timothy, the 
father of the divine, was a justice of the peace, and also, from 1727 
until his death, was frequently the town's representative. Throughout 
the last century, the family of Hopkins was one of the most respec- 
table and influential in Waterbury. Dr. Samuel Spring says, that our 
theologian " descended from worthy parents, of family distinction." * 
It was the right kind of parents, and they had the right kind of 
home for training a minister of tlie gospel. It is well that such a! 
man be nurtured in simplicity of habit, above the insnaring influence 
of poverty or riches, with healtJiful occupation, amid the invigorat- 
ing and pleasing scenes of rural life, Miiere God is adored as the I 
Father of the house. 

Of these nine children, our immediate concern is with Samuel. 

" I was born," he says, " at Waterbury, in Connecticut, on the Lord's day, 
September 17, 1721. My parents were professors of religion; and I descend- 
ed from Cliristian ancestors, both by my father and my mother, as far bnc!c 
as I have been able to trace my descent. I conchide I and my ancestors de- 
scended from those called Puritans, in the days of Queen Elizabeth, above 
two hundred years ago, and have continued to bear that denomination since, 
and were the first settlers of New England. Tliis I have considered to be 
the most honorable and liappy descent, to spring- from ancestors who have 
been professors of religion, witliout interruption, during tlic course of two hun- 
dred years and more ; and many of them, if not all, real Christians. And I 
have considered it as a favor that I was born on the Sabbath, and was poi'ha]is 
publicly dedicated to Clirist by baptism on tlie day in which I was born; and 
if not, certainly soon after. — As soon as I was capable of understanding 
and attending to it, I was told that my father, ■when he was informed that he 
had a son born to him, said, if tlic child should live, he would give him a pub- 
lic education, that ho might be a minister or a Sabbath-day man, alluding to 
my being born on the Sabbath. — I was tiie first child of my parents that 

* Mass. Missionary Magazine, vol. i. p. 3G1. 


lived. They had one before, which was not alive M'hcn born, or died as soon 
as born. My mother was twenty years old when I was born, and my father 
thirty." * 

Hopkins was only two years and seven months younger than Dr. 
Bellamy, eighteen years younger than President Edwards, and fif- 
teen years older tliau Dr. Stephen West, his three most intimate 


Dr. Hopkins continues his Autobiography with remarking : 

" I have considered it as a great favor of God that I was born and edu- 
cated in a religious family, and among a people in a country town, where a 
regard to religion and morality was common and prevalent, and the education 
of children and youth was generally practised in such a degree that young 
people were generally orderly in their behavior, and abstained from those 
open vices which were then too common in seaport and populous places. I 
do not recollect that I ever heard a profane word from the children and youth 
with whom I was conversant, while I lived with my parents, which was till I 
• was in my fifteenth year. — I from my youth was not volatile and wild, but 
rather of a sober and steady make, and was not guilty of external irregular- 
ities, such as disobedience to parents, profanation of the Sabbath, lying, fool- 
ish jesting, quarrelling, passion and anger, or rash and profane words, and was 
disposed to be diligent and faithful in whatever business I was employed ; so 
that, as I advanced in age, I gained the notice, esteem, and respect of the 
neighborhood. I was, in general, greatly careless about all invisible things, 
but was often plotting for something which then appeared to me good and 
great in this life, and often indulged and pleased myself Avith vain and foolish 
imaginations of what I should bo and do in this world. And sometimes, 
though rarely, had some serious (thoughts of God, and about my soul and a 
future world of happiness and misery. And I once had a dream of the future 
judgment, in some measure agreeable to the representation made of it by 
Christ himself in the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew. I dreamed that I and 
a bi'other of mine, who was about two years younger than me, were sentenced 
to everlasting misery, and driven down to hell, with the rest of tlie wicked. 
This greatly impressed my mind for a long time after ; and the impression 
then made has not wholly worn off to this day. — As my fatlier was a farmer, 
I was employed in laboring on the farm, with which business I was pleased, 
and made proficiency in it. I was frequently told, and often thought of the 
declaration of my father on the day on ^vliich I was born, that he would hring 
mt up to coUepce, as the phrase then was for a public education. But I felt no 
particular inclination to this, but was rather inclined to labor on a fann. But 
what always turned my mind against going to college, was the years of ab- 
sence from my parents and tlicir family which were involved in it. Such 
absence Avas intolerable to my childish mind, and v/as sufficient to suppress 
the thought of going to learning. — But in the winter after I was fourteen 
years old, I retired much to a chamber in my father's house, and spent con- 
siderable time in reading, especially reading the Bible, and began to feel 
more inclination to learning, and less to working on a farm, as our farming 
business did not go on so well as it had done, by reason of some particular 
circumstances which had taken place. When my father perceived this, he 
told me, if I was inclined to go to learning, he would put me to a place where 
I might be fitted for the college ; to which I readily consented. Accordingly, 
A I was put under the care and tuition of the Rev. John Graham, of Woodbury, 

* Sketches of the Life of the late Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D., pp. 23, 21. 


which joined west on Waterbury, his meeting-house being about ten miles 
from my father's house. Here I fitted for college, with a number of others, 
and was examined and admitted a member of college in September, 1737, 
being sixteen years old on the seventeenth day of that month." * 


When Mr. Hopkins entered Yale College, it was under the rec- 
torship of Elisha Williams, who, according to President Stiles,t 
" was a good classical scholar, well versed in logic, metaphysics, 
and ethics, and in rhetoric and oratory." — " He was a man of 
splendor ! " Professor Kingsley thus describes the course of study 
pursued in college at this time : 

Logic "claimed the principal attention, and skill in syllogistic disputation 
was the chief object aimed at. Bargersdicius, Ramus, Crackenthorp, and 
Keckerman were the great lights of the time. The freshmen were em- 
ployed the first four days of the week on Ijatin, Greek, and Hebrew ; begin- 
ning logic in the morning, at the latter end of the year, unless the tutors 
should see cause, by reason of their ripeness in the tongues, to read logic to 
theui sooner." — " Logic was the sole study of the first four days of the week 
during the second year, physics the third year, and metaphysics and matli- 
ematics the fourth year. All resident bachelors were required to dispute 
syllogistically once a week, and all undergraduates, after they began to road 
logic, five times a week. Fridays were devoted, in all the classes, to ethics, 
rhetoric, and the theology of WoUebius. Ames's Medulla Avas recited on 
Saturday mornings, and on Saturday evenings the Assembly's Catechism in 
Latin. Every Sunday morning there was an exercise in Ames's Cases of 
Conscience. At the beginning of every recitation, a portion of the Hebrew 
Scriptures was read by the class into Greek, and a portion of the New Tes- 
tament from Latin into Greek, except in the freshman class, where the trans- 
lation of the New Testament into Greek M-as from English. Every under- 
graduate was required to declaim once in two months, and both graduates 
and undergraduates committed sermons to memory, and pronounced them 
publicly in the college hall." J 

Hopkins had not been more than two years in college before 
Rector Williams was succeeded by President Clap, who was emi- 
nent in the mathematics, and who gave to this, his favorite study, 
a more prominent place in the system of college instruction than 
had been given to it previously. It is easy to see the influence of 
such a collegiate course upon such a youth as Hopkins. It sharp- 
ened his reasoning powers. It cultivated his taste for the abstract 
sciences. It fitted him to be a metaphysical divine. It did not 
introduce him into the graces of English style. It did not cherish a 
love to the hdles-Icttrcs. It favored originality of thought more 
than felicity of expression. It tended to make him a " man of one 
book." We must not undervalue this contracted .system of college 
education. As it had its evils, so it had its advantages. It fastened 

* Sketches, etc., pp. 21-27. 
t MS. Diary. 

X Sketch of the History of Yale College, in Connecticut, Quarterly Register, vol. 
viii. p. 213. 



the mind of the thoughtful student iipon a few great principles, and 
obliged him to follow them out patiently and watchfully into their 
obscurest relations. It familiarized him with the fundamental truths 
of moral, the most important science, and these truths are like the 
laws of the universe, as extensive in their application as they are 
limited in number. It did not make accomplished scholars, but it 
made profound philosophers. It did not lead so many into various 
learning as into deep thinking. " That old system," says President 
Woolsey, " in which dry logic formed the staple, is not to be de- 
spised ; for by it some of New England's best minds were formed. 
It is remarkable that nearly all the fathers and choir-leaders of 
what may technically be called New England theology came from 
this college. Men like Jonathan Edwards, Bellamy, Hopkins, West, 
Smalley, and Emmons, — graduates of the years between 1720 and 
1770, — do not proceed from cloistered retirements, where the mind 
is wholly asleep and afraid to think. And whether we admit their 
conclusions or not, we must admit that they are close consecutive 
reasoners, always in earnest, who take broad views of the divine 
government over the universe, and cover up deep religious emotions 
under logical forms." — "On the other hand, an effect of the modern 
system of education, or of society, or of both, is to repress original- 
ity of thinking, to destroy individual peculiarities, and to produce a 
general sameness among those who are educated."* 

In his Autobiography, Dr. Hopkins has nearly overlooked his 
intellectual habits at Yale, and says, in a manner equally honest and 
unassuming : 

"While a member of the college, I believe I liad the character of a sober, 
studious youth, and of a better scholar than the bigger half of the members of 
that society, and had the approbation of the governors of the college. I avoid- 
ed the intimacy and the company of the openly vicious, and, uideed, kept but 
little company, being attentive to my studies." f 

This is certainly a modest statement of a man who was distin- 
guished in a class of twenty, among whom were Richard Mansfield, 
D. D., of Derby, Connecticut ; Samuel Buell, D. D., the famous pul- 
pit orator, of Easthampton, Long Island; .Tames Sproat, D. D., of 
Philadelphia ; Noah Wells, D. D., of Stamford, Connecticut ; Willinm 
Livingston, LL. D., governor of New Jersey ; Hon. Jabez Hunting- 
ton, of Norwich, Connecticut. But he was more interested in his 
religious than his intellectual history ; and to that let us now proceed. 

" In the eighteenth or nineteenth year of my age," he says, " I cannot now 
certainly determine which, I made a profession of religion, and joined the 
church to which my parents belontrcd, in Waterbury. I was serious, and was 
thought to be a pious youth, and I had this thought and hope of myself. I 
was constant in reading the Bible, and in attending on public and secret reli- 

* An Historical Discourse, pronounced before the graduates of Yale College, Au- 
gust 14, 1850, by Theodore D. Woolsey, President of Yale College, pp. C3, 64. 
t Sketches, etc., p. 27. 


gion. And sometimes at niglit, in my retirement and devotion, when I thought 
of confessing the sins I had been guilty of that day, and asking pardon, 1 
could not recollect that I had committed one sin that day. Thus ignorant 
was I of my own heart, and of the spirituality, strictness, and extent of the 
divine law ! In tliis time I was at honie, in a vacancy at college ; and several 
men, who were gross x\nninians, entered into a dispute witli me about doc- 
trines and religion. I Avas in theory a Calvinist, and attempted to defend that 
scheme of doctrines, in opposition to them. In these we could not agree. 
But when we came to talk of practical religion, and of conversion, I agreed 
witli them, allowing it to tonsist chiefly in externals, overlooking the real and 
total depravity of the heart, and the renovation and great change which must 
take place in that, in order to true conversion and the exercise of real religion, 
having never experienced any thing of this kind. My mother heard the con- 
versation ; and after the company was gone, she told me she was surprised to 
liear me agree with them in their notion of conversion, and that I should 
think real conversion was no more than that which I and they had described. 
This put me upon thinking, and raised a suspicion in my own mind that I was 
a stranger to real conversion. But it wore off, without any abiding conviction 
of my deficiency. — From this experience of mine, I have been led to fear, 
and, in many instances, to conclude persons to be strangers to true conver- 
sion, who appear to have the same or no better notion of it than I then had, 
and talk much as I did on that head, while they profess to believe Calvinistic 
doctrines, though they choose to be considered as moderate Calvinists. There 
are many of this sort of professing Christians, with whom I have been ac- 
quainted.* When persons build upon such a false foundation, and set out in 
religion, and think themselves Christians, without being bom of God, and con- 
tinue strangers to a true and sound conversion, they will be inclined to oppose 
or slight the most important and excellent exercises of experimental religion, 
and will be dry and fruitless Christians, and ignorant of true religious affec- 
tions and enjoyments. And it will be no wonder if they lose all their zeal 
for the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, and grow indifferent about them, if 
they do not gradually give them up, and renounce them. 

" While I was in this state and situation of mind, Mr. Whitefield came into ■ 
New England, and, after he had preached in Boston and other places, came 
to New Haven, in his way to New York. The attention of people in general 
was greatly awakened upon hearing the fame of him, that there was a remark- 
able preacher from England travelling through the country. The people 
flocked to hear him, when he came to New Haven. Some travelled twenty 
miles out of the country to hear him. The assemblies were crowded and re- 
markably attentive ; and people appeared generally to approve, and their con- 
versation turned cliiefly about him and his preaching. Some disapproved of 
several tilings which he advanced, which occasioned considei-able dispute. I 
heard him when he preached in public, and when he expounded in private in 
the evening, and highly approved of him, and was somewhat impressed by 
what he said in public and in private, but did not in the least call in question 
my own good estate, that I remember. He preached against mixed dancing 
and frolicking of males and females together ; which practice was then very 
common in New England. This offended some, especially young people. 
But I remember I justified him in this in my own mind, and in conversation 
with those who were disposed to condemn him. This was in October, 1740, 
when I had entered on my last year in college. — During that fall and the 
succeeding winter, there appeared to be much more attention to religion than 
before among people in general ; and a number of ministers in New England 

* And there were many more with whom he afterwards became acquainted. A great 
part of his life was spent in controversy with •' moderate Calvinists," one class of whom 
he began to oppose thus early. He uflected more, perhaps, than any other man, save 
one, in raising the churches of New England above this " moderate Calvinism." Docs 
he not, therefore, merit the gratitude of all who love a high orthodoxy ? 


were aroused, and preached oftener than they had done, and appeared much 
more engaged and zealous than before ; and several came to New Haven, and 
preached in a manner so different from what had been usual, that people in 
general appeared to be in some measure awakened, and more thoughtful on 
religious subjects than they had been before. — Early in the next spring, in 
March, Mr. Gilbert Tennent, who had been itinerating in New England, in 
Boston and other places in the winter, came to New Haven from Boston, in 
his way to the southward. He was a remarkably plain and rousing preacher, 
and a remarkable awakening had been produced by his preaching, and many 
hopeful conversions had taken place under his preaching, where he had itin- 
erated. On his corning to New Haven, the people appeared to be almost uni- 
versally aroused, and flocked to hear him. He staid about a week in New 
Haven, and preached seventeen sermons, most of them in the meeting-house, 
two or three in the college hall. His preaching appeared to be attended with 
a remarkable and mighty power. Thousands, I believe, were awakened ; and 
many cried out with distress and horror of mind, under a conviction of God's 
anger, and their constant exposedness to fall into endless destruction. Many 
professors of religion received conviction that they were not real Christians, 
and never were born again ; which numbers publicly confessed, and put up 
notes, without mentioning their names, but their number, desiring prayers for 
them as unconverted, and under this conviction. The members of college 
appeared to be universally awakened. A small number thought themselves 
Christians before they came to college, and I believe were so. Several of 
these appeared with an extraordinary zeal and concern for the members of 
college ; and, without paying regard to the distinctions of higher and lower 
classes, they visited every room in college, and discoursed freely and with 
the greatest plainness with each one ; especially such whom they considered 
to be in an unconverted state, and who acknowledged themselves to be so, 
setting before them their danger, and exhorting them to repent, &c. The 
consciences of all seemed to be so far awakened as to lead them to hang their 
heads, and to pay at least a silent regard to their reprovers. And every per- 
son in the college appeared to be under a degree of awakening and convic- 
tion. The persons above mentioned, who thus distinguished themselves in 
zeal, were, two of them, my classmates, Buell and Youngs.* The other was 
^David Brainerd. I attended to the whole, and approved of all they said and 
did, but retained my hope that I was a Christian, and had little or no conver- 
sation with these zealous men. At length Brainerd came into my room, I 
being there alone. I was not at a loss with respect to his design in making 
me a visit then, determining that he came to satisfy himself whether I were 
a Christian or not. And I resolved to keep him in the dark, and, if possible, 
prevent his getting any knowledge of my state or religion. I was therefore 
Avholly on the reserve, being conscious that I had no religious experiences, or 
religious affections to tell of. In his conversation with me, he observed that 
he believed it impossible for a person to be converted, and to be a real Chris- 
tian, without feeling his heart, at some times at least, sensibly and greatly af- 
fected with the character of Christ, and strongly going out after him, or to 
that purpose. This observation struck conviction into my mind. I verily be- 
lieved it to be true, and at the same time was conscious tfiat I had never ex- 
perienced any thing of this kind, and that I was a stranger to the exercise of 
real Christianity. I then determined that no one should know from me, or 
any other way, if I could prevent it, that I was not a Christian, until I should 
be converted ; for it was mortifying to my pride to be thought to be no Chris- 
tian, having made a Christian profession, and having had the character of a 

* Buell was at this time about twenty-five years of age, and in less than a year 
from this time, — in less than five months after his graduation, — he was preaching for Mr. 
Edwards at Norlhampton, with wonderful effect. Hopkins was in his twentieth year ; 
yet ho seems to have resisted the influence of his older classmate,, and to have yielded 
to the persuasive accents of Brainord only. 


Christian for some time, though I now knew myself not to be one. Bramerd 

took his leave of me without bringing me to put off my reserve ; and what he 
then tliought of me I know not, but believe he strongly suspected, if he did 
not without liesitation conclude, that I was not a Christian.* 

" My conviction fixed upon me. I saw I was indeed no Christian. The 
evil of my lieart, the hardness and unbelief of it, came more and more into 
view, and the evil case in which I was appeared more and more dreadful. I 
felt myself a guilty, justly condemned creature, and my hope of relief by ob- 
taining conversion failed more and more, and my condition appeared darker 
from day to day, and all help failed, and I felt myself to be nothing but igno- 
rance, guilt, and stupidity. I now lost all desire to conceal my case from 
those whom I considered to be Christians, and freely opened it to some of 
them. They appeared particularly to interest themselves in my condition, 
and often conversed with me, and asked me if I had any new views, &c. I 
constantly told them I was still the same, in an unconverted state, &c. Thus 
I continued for some weeks, generally retired, unless when I attended private 
meetings of young people, for prayer, &c., which were frequent then in col- 
lege, and in the town. — At length, as I was in my closet one evening, while 
1 was meditating, and in my devotions, a new and wonderful scene opened to 
my view. I liad a sense of the being and presence of God as I never had 
before ; it being more of a reality, and more affecting and glorious, than I 
had ever before perceived. And the character of Jesus Christ, the Mediator, 
came into view, and appeared such a reality, and so glorious, and the way of 
salvation by him so wise, important, and desirable, that I was astonished at 
myself that I had never seen these things before, which were so plain, pleas- 
ing, and wonderful. I longed to have all see and know these things as they 
now appeared to me. I was greatly affected, in the view of my own deprav- 
ity, the sinfulness, guilt, and odiousness of my character ; and tears flowed 
in great plenty. After some tune, I lefl my closet, and went into the adjoin- 
ing room, no other person being then there. I walked the room, all intent on 
these subjects, and took up Watts's version of the Psalms, and opened it at 
the fifty-first Psalm, and read tlie first, second, and third parts in long metre, 
with strong affections, and made it all my own language, and thought it was 
the language of my heart to God. I dwelt upon it with pleasure, and wept 
much. And when I liad laid the book aside, my mind continued fixed on the 
subject, and in the exercise of devotion, confession, adoration, petition, &c., 
in which I seemed to pour out my heart to God with great freedom. I con- 
tinued all attention to the things of religion, in which most appeared more or 
less engaged. There were many instances, as was then supposed, of conver- 
sion. I felt a peculiar, pleasing affection to those who were supposed to be 

" But two things appear, now, to me remarkable, with respect to my views 
and exercises which I have just now mentioned. First, I had not then the i 
least thought or suspicion that what I had experienced was conversion, or any 
thing like it ; nor did such a thought enter my mind, so far as I can recollect, 
till near a year after this ; or, if any such thought was suggested at any time, 
it was immediately rejected. I had formed an idea in my mind of conversion, 
what persons who were converted must be, and how they must feel, which 
was so entirely diflferent from that which I had seen and felt, that I was so far 
from a thought that I was converted, that I thought I knew I was not, and 
made no scruple to tell my friends so from time to time. Secondly, I do not 

* It is not (o be forgotten thfit Brainerd was at this time (one year before his expul- 
sion from college) but a sophomore, and, in conformity with the collegiate usages of his 
day, could not expect that Hopkins, being a senior, would condescend to much famil- 
iarity of personal intercourse with him, although he was more than three years older 
than Hopkins. Subsequently, however, the two youths became intimate companions ; 
and the fact that Hopkins never ferreted out the opinion which his friend formed of his 
religious state, in that college revival, is one among many instances of the dignitj and 
abstractedness which marked his conversation with men. 


recollect that I said a word to any person living of these exercises, or gave 
the least hint of them to any one, for almost a year after they took place. I 
did not think they were worth speaking of, being nothing like conversion. 
And by degrees I ceased to recollect any thing of them, still hoping and 
looking for something greater and better, and of quite a different kind. 

"When I heard Mr. Tennent, as mentioned above, I thought he Avas the 
greatest and best man, and the best preacher, that I had ever seen or heard. 
His words were to me 'like apples of gold in pictures of silver.' And I 
then thought that when I should leave the college, as I was then in my last 
year, I would go and live with liim, wherever I should find him.* But just 
before the commencement, in September, when I was to take my degree, on 
the seventeenth day of which month I was twenty years old, Mr. Edwards, 
of Northampton, came to New Haven and preached. He then preached the 
sermon on The Trial of the Spirits, which was afterwards printed. I had 
before read his sermons on Justification, &c., and his Narrative of the Re- 
markable Conversions at Northampton, which took place about seven years 
Defore this. Though I then did not obtain any personal acquaintance with 
him, any further than by liearing him preacli, yet I conceived such an esteem 
of him, and was so pleased with liis preaching, that I altered my former de- 
termination with respect to Mr. Tennent, and concluded to go and live with 
Mr. Edwards, as soon as I should have opportunity, though he lived about 
eighty miles -from my father's house. 

" After I had taken my first degree, which was in September, 1741, I re- 
tired to my father's, in Waterbury ; and being dejected and very gloomy in 
my mind, I lived a rccluso life for some months. Considering myself as a 
smful, lost creature, I spent most of my time in reading, meditation, and 
prayer, and spent many whole days in fasting and prayer. My attention 
turned chiefly to my own sinfulness, and as being wholly lost in myself, 
of which I had an increasing conviction. But I also attended to the state 
of religion in the vicinity. There was a general and uncommon atten- 
tion to religion, and much preaching by ministers who Avent from town 
to town ; but opposition was made to the revival of religion, which noAv 
began to increase among ministers and people. Some considered it as 
an evil work, in tlie Avhole of it. Others allowed there was some good 
attending it, but objected greatly to many things Avhich took place and Avere 
practised by the friends and subjects of the work, as imprudent and Avrong. 
I Avas a strong advocate for the doctrines preached by the ministers Avho were 
instruments of promoting the revival, and for the practices of those Avho Avere 
the subjects of it, and Avere supposed to be converted. It is true, there were 
some things said and practised Avhicli I did not understand and fully see 
tlirough. But as I considered them as Christians, and myself as not one, and 
consequently ignorant and incapable of judging, I concluded they must be 
right. I spent days in fasting and prayer, seeking the promotion of that 
Avhich to mo appeared to be true religion, and the suppression of all oppo- 
sition to it. I endeavored to promote religion among the young people in the 
tOAvn, and encouraged them Avho Avere, attentive and concerned to meet 
together for prayer, and to spend days of fasting and prayer together, es- 
pecially those Avho were thought to be converted. When I saAV persons 
whom I considered to be unconverted, I felt disposed to pray for them, that 
they might be converted and saved, and felt great concern for some individ- 
uals of tliis character, 

* How different the opinion of Hopkins from that of Dr. Cutler, who wrote, in 1741, 
to the Society for the Propag-ation of the Gospel, '• I need onlv mention one [follower 
of Whitefield] Gilbert Tennent, a teacher living to the southward, who visited us the last 
Avinter, and afflicted us more than the most intense cold and snow that was ever known 
among us, and kept even the most tender people travelling night and day, to hear the 
most vulgar, crude, and boisterous things from him, to the ruin of the health of many, 
and the poisoning of more, with unsound divinity," etc. See President Woolsey's His- 
torical Discourse, p. 109. 


" In the month of December, being furnished with a horse, &c., I set out 
for Northampton, with a view to live with Mr. Edwards, where I was an utter 
stranger. When I arrived there, Mr. Edwards was not at home ; but [I] was 
received with great kindness by Mrs. Edwards and the family, and had en- 
couragement that I might live there during the winter. Mr. Edwards was 
abroad on a preaching tour, as people in general were greatly attentive to 
religion and preaching, which was attended with remarkable effects in the 
conviction and supposed conversion of multitudes. I was very gloomy, and 
was most of the time retired in my chamber. After some days, Mrs. Edwards 
cams into my chamber, and said, ' As I was now become one of the family for 
a season, she felt hei'self interested in my welfare ; and [as] she observed that 
I nppeared gloomy and dejected, sihe hoped I would not think she intruded by 
desiring to know, and asking me what was the occasion of it,' or to that pur- 
pose. I told her the freedom she used was agreeable to me ; that the occa- 
sion of the appearance which she mentioned was the state in which I consid- 
ered myself. I was in a Christless, graceless state, and had been under 
a degree of conviction and concern for myself for a number of months. [I] 
had got no relief, and my case, instead of growing better, appeared to grow 
worse. Upon which we entered into a free conversation ; and, on the whole, 
she told me that she had peculiar exercises respecting me, since I had been 
in the family ; that she trusted I should receive light and comfort, and doubted 
not that God intended yet to do great things by me, &c. This conversation 
did not sensibly raise my spirits in the least degree. My views of myself 
were such, and my prospect and hope of any good were so low, that I then 
paid no sensible regard to v/hat she said. 

'■ Religion was noAv at a lower ebb at Northampton than it had been of 
late, and than it appeared to be in the neighboring towns, and in New Eng- 
land in general. In the month of January, Mr. Buell, my classmate, whom 
I mentioned before, came to Northampton, having commenced a zealous 
preacher of the gospel,* and was the means of greatly reviving the people to 
zeal in religion. He preached every day, and sometimes twice a day, pub- 
licly, Mr. Edwards being out of town, preaching in distant towns. Profess- 
ing Christians appeared greatly revived and comforted, and a number were 
imdcr conviction, and I think there were some hopeful new converts. After 
Mr. Buell had preached in Northampton a week or two, he set out on a tour 
towards Boston, to preach in the towns in those parts, and I went with him. 
People crowded to hear him in every place ; and great numbers were awa- 
kened, and many were thought to be converted. After continuing with him 
about two weeks, I returned to Northampton, v/hen my exercises of mind 
were such that I, for the first time, admitted a hope that they were really gra- 
cious, and my mind immediately recurred back to the time when I had those 
views and affections, almost a year before, which have been mentioned ; and 
they appeared to me to be of the same kind with those which now possessed 
my mind, and [I saw] that tlie course of exercises which I since had did not 
differ in kind from the first, and from those M'hich I now had, though I had 
within this time often said I v/as certain I had no grace ; and never had for a 
moment, that I can recollect, entertained the least degree of hope, or one 
thought that I was not in a state of nature. While at Northampton, before 
this, I conversed with a number of Christians who were thought to be know- 
ing and eminent. I perceived that they thought I was a Christian. But this did 
not have the least perceivable influence on my mind, so as to excite the least 
hope that I was a Christian ; but [I] thought and felt that I knew this was not, 
and could not, be true. 

" I now determined to make known the whole of my exercises to Mr. Ed- 
wards, as far as I could communicate them. I told him my present exercises, 
and those which I have related which took place at college near a year before. 

* He was licensed a month only after he was graduated. He came to Northamp- 
ton on the 27th of January. 


When he had heard me, he asked me why I had not told him these things 
before. I told him it was because I had no thought that such exercises were 
conversion, or Christian exercises, till very lately. He gave not his opinion 
expressly ; nor did I desire he should, for I was far from relying on any man's 
judgment in such a case. But I supposed he entertained a hope that I was a 
Christian." * 

Thus we see that this diffident young man first opened his eyes 
upon spiritual truth among those who were called " New Lights." 
He drew his earliest rehgious breath among earnest men, wlio were 
panting for the amelioration of the race. He was born, morally as 
well as intellectually, among the advocates of progress. The circum- 
stances of his spiritual birth affected his entire religious life. Less 
than a prophet might have divined that a youth in his teens, catch- 
ing the spirit of Whitefield, Tennent, Brainerd, Buell, and Edwards, 
would not sleep over abuses because they had been sanctioned by 
length of years. Such a man, renewed in such a way, feels a long- 
, continued impulse to make men better; to free them from delusion, 
even if it be old ; to enrich them with truth, even if it be new ; to 
struggle forward and onward " for the perfecting of the saints." 
In the case of Hopkins, history ratifies what might have been the 
voice of prophecy. 

We see also that this modest youth began his Christian life in a 
revival of religion, which was attended with much fanaticism on the 
one hand, and with eminent godliness on the other. But amid all 
the wildfire that burned around him, how considerate and circum- 
spect he remained ! While many of his companions ran into ex- 
travagances, he was pressing through a severe " law-work," and was 
laying in solitude the deep foundations of a character which was to 
rise high in religious worth. Many eminent Calvinists of his day, 
some of his college instructors, stood aloof from the revival ; he 
was too benevolent to feel less than the deepest interest in it. Some 
features of it he could not approve ; but he was too modest to rely 
on his own judgment, in oppositioji to the good men ^viiom he felt 
to be, in the main, engaged in a good cause. He was not censori- 
ous against the enthusiasts, neither was he himself an enthusiast ; but 
his narrative of the revival proves him to have been then, what he 
developed himself to be afterwards, an humble Christian philosopher. 
We have much to hope from such a convert. 


We have already introduced this unassuming young student into 
the almost patrician family of President Edwards, at Northampton. 
Nowhere on earth, perhaps, could have been found, at that time, a 

* Sketches, etc., pp. 27-43. 


more eligible residence for a theological inquirer. Mr. Edwards 
was in tlie thirty-ninth year of his age, and at the height of his min- 
isterial usefulness. His wife was in her thirty-second year, and was 
eminent, not only for her personal elegance, but for the richness and 
brilliancy of her mind. Their daughter .Terusha, afterwards be- 
trothed to David Brainerd, was at this time in her twelfth year; 
Esther, afterwards the wife of President Burr, was in her tenth year ; 
and Mary, the mother of President Dwight, was in her eighth year. 
All of these daughters were beautiful and sprightly. The charms of 
such an interesting family were the influences which Hopkins needed 
in his despondent condition. We have just seen Mrs. Edwards 
entering his room, and striving to impart that spiritual comfort which 
so accomplished a lady was so well fitted to administer. We catch 
another glimpse of his religious intercourse with her a few weeks 
afterward, on Wednesday, .Tanuary 27, 1742. His classmate Buell 
had preached a lecture at three o'clock in the afternoon. The au- 
dience were deeply moved. Many of them remained three hours in 
the meeting-house after the public exercises were closed. When Mrs. 
Edwards returned to her house, she found there several Christian 
friends, in company with Mr. Buell and jMr. Hopkins. " Seeing and 
conversing with them," she says, " on the divine goodness, renewed 
my former feelings, and filled me with an intense desire that we 
might all arise, and with an active, flowing, and fervent heart, give 
glory to God. The intenseness of my feelings again took away my 
bodily strength. The words of one of Dr. Watts's Hosannas pow- 
erfully affected me ; and, in the course of the conversation, I uttered 
them as the real language of my heart, with great earnestness and 
emotion : 

' Hosanna to King David's Son, 
Who reigns on a superior throne,' etc. 

And while I was uttering the words, my mind was so deeply im- 
pressed with the love of Christ, and a sense of his immediate pres- 
ence, that I could v/ith difl^iculty refrain from rising from my seat 
and leaping for joy. I continued to enjoy this intense, and lively, 
and refreshing sense of divine things, accompanied with strong 
emotions, for nearly an hour ; after which I experienced a delight- 
fid calm, and peace, and rest in God, until I retired for the night." * 
It was with a frequent recurrence of similar interviews that our 
reverential student prepared himself for the ministry. The influence 
of them in directing and deepening his theological speculations, can- 
not be mistaken. He was wont to speak of them in his old age 
even. There is a striking coincidence between his subsequent views 
of " disinterested submission," and the feelings which Mrs. Ed- 
wards expressed several weeks after he became a member of her 

* See Dwighl's Edwards, vol. i. p. 176. 



" I told those who were present," she says, " that I chose to die in the way 
that was most agreeable to God's will, and that I sliould be willing to die in 
darkness and horror, if it was most for the glory of God." * 

During the night after this remark, (January 29, 1741,) and 
through subsequent days and nights, she had a train of reflections 
which would riow be termed Hopkinsian, and which may have been 
the germ of one branch of Hopkinsianism ; for they were, doubtless, 
soon communicated to the inquisitive and solemn youth who sat at 
her table and listened to her daily conversation. 

" I also thought," she writes,f " how God had graciously given me, for a 
great while, an entire resignation to his will with respect to the kind and 
manner of death that I should die ; having been made willing to die on the 
rack, or at the stake, or any other tormenting death, and, if it were God's will, 
to die in darkness ; and how I had that day been made very sensible and fully 
willing, if it was God's pleasure, and for his glory, to die in horror. But now 
it occurred to me that when I had thus been made willing to live, and to be 
kept on this dark abode, I used to think of living no longer than to the ordi- 
nary age of man. Upon this, I was led to ask myself whether I was not will- 
ing to be kept out of heaven even longer ; and my whole heart seemed 
immediately to reply, ' Yes, a thousand years, if it be God's will, and for his 
honor and glory ; ' and then my heart, in the language of resignation, went 
further, and with great alacrity and sweetness, to answer, as it were, over and 
over again, ' Yes, and live a thousand years in horror, if it be most for the 
glory of God. Yea, I am willing to live a thousand years [in] an hell upon 
earth, if it ^e most for the honor of God.' But then I considered with myself 
what this would be to live [in] an hell upon earth for so long a time, and I 
thought of the torment of my body being so great, awful, and overwhelming, 
that none could bear to live in the country where the spectacle was seen, and 
of the torment and horror of my mind being vastly greater than the torment 
of my body ; and it seemed to me tliat I found a perfect willingness, and sweet 
quietness and alacrity of soul, in consenting that it should be so, if it were 
most for the glory of God ; so that there was no hesitation, doubt, or dark- 
ness in my mind, attending the thoughts of it, but my resignation seemed to 
be clear, like a light that shone through my soul. I continued saying, ' Amen, 
Lord Jesus ! Amen, Lord Jesus ! Glorify thyself in me, in my body and my 
soul,' with a calm and sweetness of soul which banished all reluctance. The 
glory of God seemed to overcome me and swallow me up ; and every con- 
ceivable suffering, and every thing that was terrible to my nature, seemed to 
shrink to nothing before it. This resignation continued in its clearness and 
brightness the rest of the night, and all the next day and the night following, 
and on IMonday in the forenoon, without interruption or abatement. All this 
while, whenever I thought of it, the language of my soul was, with the great- 
est fulness and alacrity, ' Amen, Lord Jesus ! Amen, Lord Jesus ! ' In the 
afternoon of Monday, it was not quite so perceptible and lively ; but my mind 
remained so much in a similar frame, for more than a week, that I could never 
think of it without an inexpressible sweetness in my soul." 

Twenty-two years after this period, Hopkins says of Mrs. Ed- 
wards : 

" She was eminent for her piety and experimental religion. Religious con- 
versation was much her delight, and this she promoted in all companies, as 
far as was proper and decent for her ; and her discourse showed her under- 

* Dwight's Edwards, vol. i. p. 181. t lb. pp. 182, 183. 


standing in divine things, and the great impression they had on her mind. 
The friends of true religion, and they who were ready to engage in religious 
conversation, and delighted in that which was most essential and practical in 
true religion, were her peculiar friends and intimates, to whom she would 
open her mind freely, and tell them the exercises of her own heart, and what 
God had done for her soul, for their encouragement and excitement in the 
ways of God. Her mind appeared, to them who were most conversant witli 
her, constantly to attend to divine things, even on all occasions, and in all 
business of life." * 

We have noticed that in December, 1741, Hopkins came to study 
at Northampton, while his teacher was absent. On the 25th of 
.Tanuary, 1742, Mr. Edwards went to Leicester, and there labored 
several weeks. " In the latter end of March," Hopkins left North- 
ampton, " with a view to obtain a license to preach." It appears, 
then, that before he commenced preaching, he remained with his 
teacher less than four months, and it is known that during this 
period his teacher was often from liome on missionary tours. Hop- 
kins spent the month of April in his still and beautiful native town. 
At his father's house, within about an hour's ride from the house of 
Dr. Bellamy, in Bethlem, he writes : 

" I have of late entertained a hope that I did experience a saving change 
above a year ago ; and I find myself more and more established in it. The 
Lord grant that I may not be deceived ! I have some thoughts (God willing) 
of being examined, next week, in order to preach the sweet and everlasting 
gospel of Jesus, though, many times, my heart shrinks at the thought. I 
hope the Lord will direct me. — April 29, 1742. This day, I obtained a per- 
mit to go forth and preach the gospel : but this is only from men. It hath 
been my request, and I hope my sincere desire, that I might have a commis- 
sion from the Lord Jesus Clirist, the great Lord of the harvest, and be sent 
forth by him as a laborer in his vineyard." 

" After I had preached," he says in his Autobiography,f " a few times at 
my native place and places adjacent, occasionally, I returned to Northampton, 
proposing to spend some time in pursuing my studies with Mr. Edwards, 
where I lived during the summer, preaching sometimes in Mr. Edwards's pul- 
pit, and to private meetings ; and sometimes rode out to neighboring towns, 
and preached ; for which I neitlier demanded nor received any pay, except 
forty shillings, old tenor, for preaching one Sabbath at Westfield, which was 
given without any demand or expectation from me. I also preached in the 
fall, a number of Sabbaths, at Bethlem, to Mr. Bellamy's people, gratis, wliile 
he took a tour as far as Philadelphia, in order to preach, as people in general 
then had a hearing ear." 

After he had spent more than three additional months with ]Mr. 
Edwards, in 1742, Hopkins did not regard himself as having com- 
pleted his theological education ; but he says, in his Diary, May 30, 
1743, " Rode to-day from Westfield hither, [to Northampton ;] — am 
kindly received by Mr. Edwards and his family. I have tlioughts 
of staying here this summer. I hope God will lead me to what is 
my duty." He commenced a school in the village, and at the same 

* Sketch of Mrs. Edwards's Life and Character, Edinburgh edition, pp. Ill, 112. 
t Sketches, etc., p. 45. 



time prosecuted his studies, but at the end of four weeks was seized 
with a rheumatic affection, and was compelled to change his resi- 
dence. Thus he spent a little more than eight months in the bosom 
of Mr. Edwards's household, and in the enjoyment of his rich in- 
structions. The intimacy which Hopkins then formed with his 
teacher produced a decided effect upon his entire subsequent life. 
It enabled him to give a very minute account of IMr. Edwards's 
private habits. We are indebted to Hopkins for the authentic infor- 
mation which we have concerning the devotional observances, house- 
hold arrangements, social usages of his beloved instructor. 


About this time, the young candidate began his Diary. It was 
obviously designed to be private, for he records many events which 
he would not wish to let his best friends know. Some of these in- 
cidents, for the purpose of secrecy, he narrates in the Latin lan- 
guage. And yet, through the entire Journal, (so far forth as it is 
now preserved and has been perused by the present biographer,) 
there is not to be found one disclosure which could in any degree 
sully the fair name of Hopkins. Even its most secret records are 
perfectly honorable to his character. It is written with careless- 
ness ; it exposes the great divine in his dishahillc, but is a far nobler 
monument to his virtue than is his Autobiography. If it had been 
penned with any design of exposing it to his friends even, its charm 
and its value would have been lessened ; but as it is, it serves as a 
glass through which is to be seen the heart of its author. Some of 
its assertions are too condemnatory of himself to be true, but they 
were thought or felt to be true by him who made them. They are 
to be received with abatement, as if they had been the words of his 
enemy ; for he did hate and abhor himself, and write bitter things 
against himself. His Autobiography has been called his Confession, 
and his private .Tournal may be called his Self-accusation. It was 
doubtless a fault to disparage liis performances so unremittinglj^, but 
it was a failing which " leaned to virtue's side." 

Many of the details in the ensuing Memoir are derived from the 
relics of this .Tournal. It is much to be regretted, that after Novem- 
ber 2, 1756, a large part of his Journal was written in cipher, and, 
since the death of his widow, has been to some extent unintelligible. 
Those parts of it which were deciphered by her for the Autobiogra- 
phy edited by Dr. West, are the richest portions of the whole. 


The subject of our Memoir was constitutionally inclined to de- 
spondency. He looked at the dark side of nearly all objects, at the 


darkest side of liis own character. In two thirds of the passages of 
his Diary, where he comments on his own sermons, he speaks of 
them as " dull," " very dull," or as dcservinf]^ of some worse epithet. 
And even when he is willing to confess that he " spoke with some 
power for a few minutes," and " had a little turn or two" of "free- 
dom," and " was not so insipid as sometimes," he qualifies his con- 
fession, and " loses himself in a humble way." Thus he wiites : 

" Sunday, March 20, 1743. Preaclied to-day, in tlie forenoon, from Ps. 
xxLx. 4. Had no great pressing and feeling sense of divine truths, but yet 
was enabled to speak with freedom. In the afternoon, from Matt. xvi. 2G. 
Had a little sense, for a small minute, of the happiness of those that should 
forever dwell in the presence of God, and feel the beamings forth of his love. 
No visible etfects of the word this day." — " Wednesday, May 4, 1743. Have 
liad my mind much bent in studying some part of this day, in making a ser- 
mon wherein I treat of the Sabbath — of its institution and change, &c. And 
this evening, through tlie goodness of God, have had some refreshing discov- 
eries of divine things, longing that the whole world might be brought to the 
knowledge of God, and that the children of God might live like themselves, 
and have views of an approaching eternity, and feel the love of God in their 
souls ; that the ministers of Christ might always experience how sweet it is 
to preach Christ, and offer him to fallen, undone sinners ; that unconverted 
ministers might have their eyes opened. O, how sweet it is to get on Mount 
Pisgali, and from thence behold the promised land ! " 

Such were his habits of introspection, and such was his humiliating 
estimate of himself, that months before his ordination he wrote in 
his Journal : 

" I have for some time been much discouraged about preaching, and feel 
inclined to leave off, — am filled M'ith doubts about my own good estate." 

" Friday, October 12, 1744. Have been trying at turns to study a sermon 
all this week, but caimot make it out yet. I have been very senseless and 
stupid to-day, and this evening have been in a strange posture. I know not 
how to describe it. It is an uneasy stupor. There seems to be a separating 
M-all between God and my soul. I am all in the dark, and cannot speak to 
him. 1 am full of doubts whether I know any thing about grace, or have any 
of it, and have no courage to go on in the work of the ministry. — Monday, 
October 15. I have been very barren to-day in my conversation. 1 feel 
very much in the dark, and doubt whether I am a Christian or no. My heart 
is excessively hard," etc. — "'November (3, 1745. Have had some uncom- 
mon fresh thoughts of death this evening. I fear I am unprepared. My sins 
stare me in the face. I have wofully departed from God, and fear I have not 
one spark of true grace, and yet am afraid ail the n])prehensions and sense I 
now have will soon wear olT." 

At other times, we find him reasoning, " disinterestedly," to prove 
that his religious professions were not false. 

"I have been very low and cold for the most of this day," he writes, 
March 22, 1743. " I have been trying to study a sermon, but cannot make it 
out. I had some enlargement in secret this evening ; was made to cr\' out 
under this body of death, and had desires to be freed from it, and, Avhilc I 
live in this world, to be as a flame of fire in God's service. Every grace of 
God's Spirit whicii is implanted in tlie believer appeared lovely and dosirabh) 
to me, and I could not but long for them ; and I longed to see and know all 
tlie attributes of God, through a sense of the sweetness and happiness that 


such a knowledge would afford the soul ; and upon reflecting upon these 
[views] and this disposition of my soul, my doubts in some measure ceased ; 
for surely this is something above nature ; for why doth that God that is de- 
scribed in the Bible appear the most desirable to me, unless I have seen him 
and do love him ? Why do I long to behold a great, a holy, a powerful, a just, 
a true, an eternal, an omniscient, omnipresent, all-wise, and sovereign God ? 
Why doth such a God appear the most desirable to me, and why do I choose 
to love such a God, unless these his attributes have been so seen and known by 
me that they have left their stamp and impress on my soul ? And why doth 
every Christian grace, as it is described in the word of God, appear beautiful 
and lovely to me, considered in themselves, considered without their conse- 
quence, (even eternal life and happiness,) unless I have seen the beauty of 
holiness ? How can I long for holiness, unless I am in some measure sanc- 

A little more than three months after he had begun to preach, lie 
records the following self-dedication to God : 

" August 7, 1742. Seeing Christ requires that I deny myself, take up 
my cross, and renounce all for huii, taking him for my only portion here and 
forever, I do now afresh dedicate myself to the Lord, solemnly promising to 
renounce all other lords, and take him for my portion. I call heaven and earth 
to witness, that I now take the God of heaven and earth for my God. I now 
make myself over, with all that I have or ever shall have, to him. I now 
promise allegiance to the God of heaven, that lienceforth I will make it my 
only business to serve and honor him, begging his gracious assistance to per- 
form my obligations, and to keep my solemn vows inviolate. It is done ; I 
am no more my own, but I give myself away to God, to be his forever. S. H." 

It is an interesting fact, that he had no sooner entered the sacred 
office than he set apart the last day of every week as a day of fast- 
ing and prayer. He continued this habit more than sixty years. 
He did not allow his Saturday to be a day of hurried preparation 
for the Sabbath, nor of any mere intellectual labor. His work on 
his sermons was finished before nine o'clock on Friday evening, and 
Saturday was his day of religious rest. Such was his reverence 
toward Jehovah, that he dared not go into the pulpit save from the 
foot of the throne. It was his principle not only to feel what he 
preached, but also to preach what he felt. He chose to say aloud on 
the Sabbath what he had experienced the day before. It is partly 
because he had such deep emotion in view of truth, that he mourned 
so much over his want of feeling. It is the pious man who weeps 
the most bitterly over his remaining sin. Wliat he says of Presi- 
dent Edwards is emphatically true of himself. 

He was "much on his knees in secret, and in devout reading God's word, 
and meditation upon it. And his constant, solemn converse with God, in tliese 
exercises of secret religion, made his face, as it were, to shine before others. 
His appearance, his countenance, words, and whole demeanor, (though with- 
out any thing of affected grimace and sour austerity,) was attended with a 
seriousness, gravity, and solemnity which was the natural, genuine indication 
and expression of a deep, abiding sense of divine tilings in his mind, and of 
his living constantly in the fear of God." * 

* Life of Edwards, Edinburgh edition, pp. 45, 46. 



Although God acts as a Sovereign in giving success to preachers of 
his truth, yet he ordinarily blesses their services according to certain 
laws which himself has originated, and on which he allows them to 
calculate in some degree. Some of Hopkins's natural and moral 
charactei"istics promised a life of usefulness in the ministry ; but he 
possessed other traits which depressed him, and indicated that he 
could better serve his race by scientific study than by oral address. 

The influence of a public speaker is very much affected by his 
external appearance. The person of Hopkins was dignified, but not 
graceful. He was more than six feet in height, had a full chest, a 
large head and face, high cheek bones, a broad, capacious forehead, 
a gray or blue eye, which his friends and disciples represent as 
beaming with intelligence. He was erect in his figure,* and his 
whole person was of gigantic proportions. Some friends of his, 
now living, remark that when, with his white, full-bottomed, pow- 
dered wig, his three-cornered hat, his silver knee buckles and shoe 
buckles, he walked at the right hand of General Washington, with 
Governor Arthur Fenner at the left, through the streets of Newport, 
Rhode Island, during Washington's visit to that town, the stature of 
Hopkins appeared as imposing, although his motions were by no 
means so pleasing, as those of the father of his country.! Although 
in his old age Hopkins moved slowly and clumsily, yet in his early 
life he was noted for agility of frame, and several of his athletic 
feats are still described by the village chroniclers. His manners, too, 
although awkward, were commanding. In an association of min- 
isters, he inspired all with an affectionate awe. Dr. Samuel Spring 
said, that he always trembled in Hopkins's presence. Not only in his 
youth, but even in his extreme age, Hopkins paid a fitting attention / 
to his dress, which was always neat. His motions, especially in 
later life, were slow, and indicated the liabitual composure of his 
mind. There was a want of flexibility in his intercourse with pro- 
miscuous circles, which prevented his being a favorite among them. 
' He was not a genial companion with the masses. He was rather 
inclined to be taciturn, except among cliosen friends. His thoughts 

* An old man of ninety-six years, who lived in Newport before, and while, and after 
Dr. Hopkins preached there, and who belonged to Dr. Hopkins's church and choir, says, 
that " the doctor always attracted attention in the streets, as an upright and tall man. 
Strangers, presuming that he was a great man, would at once take off their hats when 
they met him." A Baptist clergyman of Newport was wont to say, " Dr. Hopkins's 
comitenancc always reminds me of the beloved disciple." 

t This reminiscence of his friends is here mentioned, not for the ourposc of indors- 
ing its historical accuracy, but for the sake of disclosing the impression which Hop- 
kins's figure and bearing made upon his surviving favorites. The writer has no means 
of ascertaining the truth of ihc report, that Hopkins officiated as chaplain when the 
lirsl President of the Union visited Newport. 


were in solid bullion, and he had but Uttle small change. Seldom 
speaking" unless he had something to say, he failed to please a some- 
what comprehensive class of both men and women. Besides, when 
he saw marks of vanity or arrogance in others, he recoiled within 
liimself, and appeared blank to them. Hence he has sometimes been 
misrepresented as unintellectual in his aspect.* 

In the pulpit, his appearance was dignified, solemn, and even 
fearful. A little girl was once found weeping, because she dared 
not go into the meeting-house where he was to preach ; for she said, 
" When I look up into the pulpit, I think I see God there." Still 
he was no orator. He had more of homely strength than of polish, v^ 
He was blunt, though kindly, in his accents. He could " deliver " a 
metaphysical essay with very just emphasis; — Dr. William Patten 
was wont to say that Hopkins's reading of such a treatise was equal 
to any other man's commentary upon it ; but he pronounced un- 
gracefully and inaccurately ; he made but few gestures, and those 
were awkward ; his voice was not good,t and his whole enunciation 
was apt to be drawling and monotonous. He mourned over his 
ungaiidy style, was often depressed in view of it, and he strenuously 
advised young preachers to study the proprieties of outward manner. 

" I ara troubled," he complains, in his twenty-third year, " with a sort of 
tone, which I cannot get rid of." And in his seventy-iifth year, reviewing his 
ministry, he says, " I am sensible tlmt I was greatly deficient and negligent in 
the former part of my life in my attention to language and taking pains to ob- 
tain a good delivery, which occasioned a very bad and disagreeable delivery, 
and rendered me, not a good, but a bad speaker; especially in the former part 
of my ministiy ; though since, for above thirty years, I have made some im- 

* A distinguished author, describing his visit to Dr. Hopkins, says, " There is nothing 
striking in his manner and conversation. On the contrary, there is something which 
would lead a person ignorant of his character to think him rather weak, and simple, and 
unthinking. He looks like a vacant-minded man, and his conversation on common and 
ordinary topics is not calculated to remove such an impression.'' This criticism is im- ' 
))ortant, for in the Memoir of the eminent man who made the criticism, it is confessed, 
that " to strangers, and especially to those who had no prepossessions in his favor, there 
was in his [this critic's] manners an air of something magisterial or repulsive, which 
kept many at a distance, and which even his best friends regretted," and which, we 
may add, Dr. Hopkins was one of the last men on earth to encourage. It was a 
marked peculiarity of Hopkins, and of Edwards, to seem to know nothing before men 
who seemed to know too much. 

t The voice of Mr. Hopkins has been variously described. In his old age, it was, 
of course, more unpleasant than in his early life. A literary gentleman, who remembers 
him only as he spoke in his later years, gives a representation somewhat diverse from 
that given by Dr. Patten, and says of Hopkins, " His voice was as far removed from 
melodiousness as voice well could be. He seemed never to have learned that it was 
flexible, capable of an infinite variety of modulation. He spoKe ever on the same 
key — a heavy, inelastic monotone." Several of his former parishioners, on the contrar3-, 
describe his voice as solemn, and at times impressive. Is it not probable that those 
who listened to him most frequently felt the defects of his utterance least sensibly, and 
that those who werp familiar with him before his extreme old age, did not notice the 
faults which increased with increase of j'ears, and made a deep impression on his 
younger hearers ? When he commenced his ministry, there may have been nothing dis- 
couraging in his vocal powers, but they wanted culture. 


provement in my delivery, by paying more attention to it,* and to language, 
by which I have been in a great measure cured of some of my bad habits, con- 
tracted through inattention, and the want of a friend to point them out to me 
and admonish me. When I first began to preach, my mind was inquiring 
after truth ; and this pleased and satisfied me wherever I could find it, with- 
out attending much to the manner or the language by which it was conveyed 
to my mind. And I took it for granted that this was the case with others. 
This led me to inquire after truth, and in my sermons to convey it to others, 
without attending properly to the manner and the language in which it was 
communicated ; so that while, I trust, I made some proficiency in the knowl- 
edge of the truth, I was careless as to the manner of communicating it, and 
contracted these bad habits, with respect to this, which it was not easy, 
if possible, to get wholly rid of, when I became sensible of my mistake, and 
was convinced of the importance of studying good language and a proper 
delivery." f 

This tautological extract affords an apt illustration of the truth, 
that unless a man study the principles of elocution in his early life, 
he will seldom become master of them ; and unless he form a good 
English style before he begins to preach, he is in danger of never 
forming one. The youthful Hopkins did not obtain a mastery of 
his mother tongue. His strong feelings vented themselves in strong 
words, (how could he help it ?) but he did not explore the resources 
of the language ; he did not learn its compass, its dignity, its graces, 
its delicate shades of meaning, its refined distinctions. | This, 
whether he perceived it or not, was to be one of the chief hin- 
drances to his power over an audience. He selected his words 
clumsily. He often chose, or rather stumbled upon, more energetic 
terms than he really meant to use. He did not know the meaning 
of a euphemism. Hence he was often liable to be misunderstood, 
to give unintended offence. Thus lie advises a young lady : " Al- 
ways disregard and avoid, as much as you can, and slight, and even 
despise, those who speak light of and ridicule religion and sacred 
things." Now, the good man did not mean that she should despise 
any part of " being in general," but rather that she should despise 

'' That this honest chronicler endeavored to improve in elocution is tme ; that he suc- 
ree'ied is not generally believed. He mistook the good effort for a good result. 

t Sketches, etc., p. 92. 

t In his earlier ministry he had a contempt for rhetorical study. When called to 
criticize a youthful preacher, before an association who had unanimously applauded 
that preacher for his eloquence of manner, Mr. Hopkins added to their compliments 
the following remark : " Your sermon, sir, was very beautiful, very eloquent ; I was 
pleased with it ; but, sir, you know I am a blunt man, — and a thousand such sermons 
would do no good to a rat.'' The writer once heard this criticism justified as literally 
correct. — Here it may be well enough to say, that if his biography can be of no other 
use to a public speaker, it may illustrate, by contrast, the worth of rhetorical culture. 
A quaint clergyman once remarked to a circle of candidates for the ministry, " Three 
things make out a call for you to preach : first, you must desire to preach ; secondly, 
you must be able to preach ; thirdlj', you must be able to get men to come and hear 
you." The first requisite comprised a good heart ; the second, a good intellect ; the 
third, a good style and utterance. The sequel will show that Hopkins began his min 
istry with a better power of expression than he had when he closed it } but in the mais 
be exerted bis influence by the matter, in despite of tbe manner, of his sermons. 




the character of irreligious wits. In a very benevolent epistle, which 
announces his intention to expose the low and disreputable nature of 
a certain assault upon him, the kind-hearted writer blunders into the 
nervous assertion, that he shall take "notice of a number of things" 
tending to make his assailant " ashamed, and render him mean, and 
even ridiculous, in the eyes of the public." He obviously meant 
something less intense than what he said. 

No one can rightly estimate Dr. Hopkins as a theologian, with- 
out considering this fault of his rhetoric. There is often an oaken 
strength, a compressed energy, a 2-eal pith, in his style ; a vigor and 
compactness of single phi-ases, a fulness and not unfrequent richness 
as well as force of expression ; but there is oftener an inelegant and 
cumbrous arrangement of terms, a tedious verbosity, interchanging 
itself strangely with some most concise utterances; and above all, 
there is an infelicitous use of harder and harsher words than he 
would have selected, had he examined more minutely the " distinc- 
tions of sound." These unhappy Avords tended to prejudice many 
against his discourses, and they still deter many from a patient study 
of his speculations. 

The intellectual powers of tliis youthful preacher betokened his 
eminent usefulness in the church. He was distinguished for his re- 
tentive memory. When, in mature life, he was asked to explain any 
j)rominent passage in the Bible, he could not only repeat it, but also 
its preceding and succeeding context, and could add a statement 
of the opinions expressed upon it by Bishop Newton, Flavel, Baxter, 
Guyse, Doddridge, and all the most noted commentators. Still, his 
genius did not promise the highest success in the pulpit. As his 
literary taste had received but little culture, so his imagination was 
less vigorous and active than is needed for popular oratory. He 
was at home in meditating on abstract truth, and he seldom wan- 
dered among the beautiful illustrations of it. His soul was on the 
loftiest topics, and it was difficult for him to come down to the 
familiar processes of lower minds. His habits of abstraction were 
fitted to remove the style of his preaching beyond the sympathies of 
undisciplined thinkers. He was a philosopher and a logician ; and 
how difficult it is for such a man to become a fervid exhorter ! His 
mental tendencies and his college habits indicated that he would 
adopt an abstruse manner of preiiching ; and after he had been in 
the ministry about fifty years. Dr. Ashbel Green says of him, " I 
liave had queries with myself whether his abstruse manner of preach- 
ing has not contributed to drive his people from him." * Medita- 
tive and grave, he seemed to live above the world ; but the world 
claims of its favorites that they come down lower. One who now 
lives to remember and honor him says, " Whenever he met me in 

* Green's Life, p. 240. 


my cliiklhood, as I passed his house to my school, he inquired for 
my name, and the name of my father ; but never seemed to notice 
my answers so as to recollect them, but appeared to be lost in dioin- 
ity.'''' This last phrase happily describes his appearance as he 
ascended the pulpit. He looked as if he was lost in divinity, when 
children and mothers in his audience longed for a warmer glow of 
fellow-feeling with poor, frail humanity. 

In this respect, however, his appearance did injustice to his in- i 
most heart. He was a man of the most earnest philanthropy. The 
ensuing Memoir is a history of his beneficence. His love to his race 
was comprehensive. It looked forward to the end of things. It 
made him faithful in reproof; still, this kind of fidelity did not 
promise to make him a favorite with the masses. His kindly feel- 
ing led him to become a plain-spoken man ; but will not sucli a man 
have enemies 1 He was inwardly and thoroughly honest : a so- 
briquet often applied to him in his later years, even by his oppo- 
nents, was, (3]d_Sincerity. But it has been shrewdly said, that 
" strict honesty is an obstacle to one who would press through 
crowds." He had withal a remarkable degree of native modesty, 
which his friends would love, but which would indispose him to 
force his way to the liigh places of the earth. Even in recording 
his own age, he would betray his lowly estimate of himself. " I sup- 
pose," he writes on one of his Fast-Saturdays, September 17, 1743, — 
" I suppose " — and did not the good man really ktimo ? — " that I am day twenty-two years old, and that this is my birtliday." Such 
native lowliness laid a firm basis for his Christian humility, which 
was, perhaps, his most prominent virtue. While it ever led him to 
disparage himself, it promised success to his inquiries after truth. 
Only that man is fitted for sacred studies, who feels liis urgent need 
of them. The Most High dwells in the heart of the contrite, and 
prospers the efforts of those who renounce themselves for him. 

It appears, then, that Hopkins had reasons for persevering in the 
ministry, although he had several characteristics which interfered 
with the popularity of his preaching. His first reception among the 
churches was also fitted to encourage, although not to flatter him. 
Having a strong mind, and strong feelings, he often expressed them 
in strong language, and he thus affected strong men. His influence 
on vigorous minds was greater than on feeble ; but he sometimes 
moved the masses. Thus he writes about six weeks after he began 
to speak in public : 

"July 3, 1741. I have this day rode from [North] Hampton to Suffield, in 
order to preach. By the way, I was much drawn out in ardent desires that 
God would go with me, and that I might do something for his honor. I heard 
two sermons, and, being desired, I preached a third. The power of the Lord 
came down, and many of his children were filled with the lloly Ghost. I had 
a freedom in speaking which I never had before. I could not be heard all 


over the meeting-house, by reason of the outcries of the people. O, wonder- 
ful that the Lord should make me his instnuiient to feed his lambs ! 

" Being desired, I preached again, this night, at the house where I lodged ; 
many people came to hear the word, and we had the divine presence ; — many 
Cliristians were sweetly refreshed." 

March 25, 174.3, he says : " Was a little raised this morning, by reading in 
Pilgrim's Progress and conversing with some Christian friends. I had some- 
thing of liberty and freedom in speaking, but no great matter of a feeling 
sense of divine truths. The people were attentive, and many seemed to be 
affected. Some Christians were so affected as to cry out in sennon time." 

It is evident that this young candidate was regarded as a man of 
promise, for he had an uncommon number of invitations to preach, 
in view of a settlement. Five of these he declined at once. He 
thus describes his services at one place, where, perhaps, he ought to 
have remained : 

"In the beginning of December, 1742, I was invited to preach at Syms- 
bury, in Connecticut, to a considerable congregation, who had lately lost their 
minister ; where I continued preaching most of the time till the next May. 
The greater part of the people appeared attentive, and in some measure en- 
gaged in religion ; but there were some opposers of the late revival of religion, 
and of the doctrines which were preached, and were much insisted upon by 
the friends of the revival. Though I refused to preach as a candidate, hav- 
ing no inclination to settle in the ministry at present, yet the town insisted 
upon having a meeting to see if they would give me a call to settle in the 
ivork of the nunistry among them. When they met, it appeared that one hun- 
dred voted to give me a call, and that thirty voted against it. I told them 
that I had no thought of settling in the ministry at present; but if I had, I 
thought their want of unanimity, and the number of opposers, was a sufficient 
reason for not complying witli their request. I therefore left them, and went 
to Northampton, with a view to pursue my studies for a longer time with Mr. 
Edwards." * 

Dr. Patten narrates, that while Hopkins yet remained a candidate, he 
preached a sermon before an association of ministers, from the " text, Phil. ii. 
12, 1.3: 'Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God 
which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.' Instead 
of the common construction, that v/e are to understand, by ' fear and trem- 
bling,' that terror which the sinner experiences when convinced of sin, and 
awakened to a view of the punishment to which he is exposed, and by 'work- 
ing out his salvation,' those exertions he is to make in obtaining an interest 
in°Christ, he considered 'fear and trembling' to denote that deep humility 
which is implied in a sense of dependence on God, corresponding to the ex- 
pression, 'for it is God which worketh in you to will and to do ; ' it not being a 
terror, but an encouragement to the soul, to realize its dependence on the God 
of grace, and that this'humility or sense of dependence ought to be exercised 
in all that is willed or done in the work of salvation, till the work is finished, 
and complete salvation is obtained. After their return from meeting, one of 
the ministers said to Mr. Hopkins, ' You have given a strange explanation of 
that text. I do not approve of it.' But Mr. Edwards came up and said, ' I 
believe he has given the true meaning.' This was more in the scale than 
the censure of the otlier minister, more than though all the rest had com- 
mended him." t 

* Sketches, etc., pp. 45, 4-6. 

t Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 29. 30. 



It was with tlie disinterestedness of a missionary, that after re- 
fusing various applications from other and better places, Hopkins 
compUed with a request to preach at Housatonick.* In 1740, this 
parish was incorporated, witli the name of the " Second Parish in 
Sheffield." In 1761, it was incorporated as a town, with the name 
of Great Barrington. It is now the residence of an enterprising 
and cuhivated population. Its natural scenery is charming. Mr. 
William Cullen Bryant, once an inhabitant of the place, has celebrat- 
ed its woodlands and waters, in his poem on Monument Mountain. 
That noble mountain stood there, indeed, and the streams flowed 
around it, when Hopkins first visited the town; but he found there 
a clas* of residents far inferior to their successors. They still 
called their parish by its Indian name, Housatonick. They had 
resided thirteen years in the place without a settled minister. They 
were marked by that character which we may expect to find in a 
border town. Then the place was on the frontiers of American 
civilization. There were but six other white settlements in Berk- 
shire county. It had withal no flattering prospects of increase, for 
it was dreaded by some on account of its proximity to the Dutch 
settlements along the Hudson, by others on account of its exposure 
to the Indian tribes from the north. Its yeomen often went to meet- 
ing with their guns on their shoulders. Was this the parish for an 
argumentative preacher like Hopkins] He had been trained, and 
his habits fitted him to live, among a more meditative people. He 
denied himself in going to Housatonick, just as a scientific scholar 
now crosses his natural inclinations in settling over a small, unprom- 
ising parish in Iowa. The best part of Hopkins's life was spent in 
what was, to all intent, a missionary field. His writings came from 
the heart of a missionary. When he went to Housatonick, it con- 
tained but thirty families. Of these several were Dutch. The very 
names of some of the early settlers, .Joachim Van Valkenburgh, 
Isaac Van Deusen, Conrad and Hendrick Burghardt, Meese Hogo- 
boom, etc., indicated that an advocate of " strict communion " and 
an opposer of the " half-way covenant " would have a perilous min- 
istry among them. The adversaries of this self-denying missionary 
(as he was in fact, although not in form) often say that he preached 
iiis people down ; his own Journal proves how high his people had 
been up. He went to Housatonick in .Tune, 1743, and he writes thus 
on the 1st of the next August : 

" Took a walk to-day in the woods, and as I returned, went into the tavern. 
Found a number of men there, who 1 believe had better been somewhere else. 

* We follow, in the present Memoir. IMr. Hopkins's orthography for this word, 
although his uncle, iu 'he book already noticed, writes Housatunnuk. 



Soiiie were disguised by drink. It appeared to be a solemn place. The cir- 
CUhistances of this place appear more and more dreadful to me. There seems 
to be no religion here. If I did not think I had a call here, I should be quite 
discouraged. — August 23. Have been much exercised to-day with the head- 
ache, and feel otherwise indisposed. I suspect I am about to have tlie fever 
and ague, a distemper which few escape who live in this town. 

" Sunday, August 28. I have had a fit of the fever and ague this afternoon. 
I was taken with the ague between two and three o'clock. I mistrust I had a 
fit every day but one last week, though in a lower degree. — August 30. Have 
had another fit to-day. It began after two o'clock, I believe. It is very te- 
dious to bear the pain. I find I want patience. This pain made me think of 
everlasting pains. It would seem dreadful to bear forever the pain I felt ; 
what then will it be to live in hell to all eternity! — September 17. I had 
no fit last night, which is the first that has missed. I am in hopes I shall 
have no more. I have had nineteen formal fits, one after another, without 
missing a day, and five at first which were hard, though I had not much ague. 
— September 30. Rode so far as Mr. Hubbard's, to-day, and back again. 
My fits continue yet. The people here have given me a call to settle among 
them, and have voted to give me sixty pounds, lawful money, for settlement, 
and thirty-five pounds salary the first year, and then add twenty shillings 
every year, till it arises to forty-five pounds. The committee was with me 
this night, and I objected against the settlement, as not enough to build a 
house and barn. [The amiable modesty of this reason will be appreciated 
"by the reader, when he compares the situation of Mr. Hopkins at Great 
Barrington with the situation of other ministers at that time. One of his 
townsmen, his bosom friend, his classmate in college, and also his cousin, 
Rev. Jonathan Judd, had been ordained at Southampton, Mass., on tlie 8th 
of June, 1743, about three months previous to Hopkins's call, and ' had for 
a settlement two hundred acres of land, one hundred pounds, old tenor, and 
one hundred and twenty-five pounds, old tenor, to be expended in work on 
his house.' His salary, for the first three years, was one hundred and thirty 
pounds, old tenor, per annum ; and five pounds a year to be added till it 
reached one hundred and seventy pounds. At the next meeting, it was voted 
to give him his wood, ' and we will give him more, according to our ability.' * 
These two hundred acres of land, in the rich but then new township of South- 
ampton, were sufficient for the support of a minister's family. The parish- 
ioners of Mr. Judd, moreover, had been trained under the pastoral care of Mr. 
Edwards, of Northampton, and continued to enjoy his occasional ministrations.] 
" Sunday, October 2. Preached in the forenoon at my lodgmg. — Had a 
fit of tlie fever and ague this afternoon. I have now had thirty-two fits. — 
November 25, 1743. Gave my answer to-day to this people, and have con- 
s?nted to stay among them in the work of the ministry ; they are very unani- 
irious in desiring me to settle among them. The day of ordination, if God 
permit, will be on the 21st of next month. 

" Sunday, December 11. Preached to-day from Isa. 50 : 11. Was very bar- 
ren and dry all day. It seems to be always so with me of late. I have been 
very much shut up ever since I have been among this people. They are a 
very wicked people, but I can't tell them of it. — December 14. Had a fast 
to-day previous to the ordination, Mr. Hubbard, Mr. Sergeant, and Mr. Jen- 
neson were here. Mr. Sergeant made the first prayer. Mr. Hubbard was to 
gather the church, but there did not a sufficient number oflTer themselves, so 
tliat that business is put by till the ordination. I feel very much discouraged 
about entering into the work of the ministry. They are a contentious people, 
and I fear I am no way qualified for such a work. 

" December 23, 1743. Have rode out to-day to see who would be embodied 
and join with the church to be gathered by God's permission, on the ordina- 
tion day. I find some people very backward, and one told me he did not like 

* American Quarterly Registefj vol. x. p. 396. 


my preaching because I told people to come to Christ, but never told them 
how to come. I have wondered that they said nothing against my preaching 
before, but 1 believe the more is to come. The way looks very dark before 
me. I am, it is most probable, going to run myself into innumerable difficul- 
ties by settling among this people. I dare not [say] that there is one male 
Christian among them, and most of them [are] opposers to divine grace and 
the power of godliness. — Saturday, December 24. I have fasted in secret to- 
day. — Have had some unusual assistance and enlargement. My courage is 
increased about settling liere in the Avork of the ministry, being willing to go 
where God calls me, knowing that this life is not the place for happiness. I 
must wait for that, till I launch into eternity, and leave my corruptions behind. 
I hope God liath this day given me strength to desire his presence in the 
great vvork of the ministry. — December 28. I have this day publicly and 
visibly given myself up to the work of the ministry, being solemnly set apart 
to that employment, though I have reason to be ashamed that I have done it 
no more heartily. The Lord forgive me. [This was his ordination day. He 
was now twenty-two years and tliree months old.] — December 29. This day 
most of the gentlemen that assisted in my ordination set out home, and here 
I am left engaged in a great work. O that I might bo faithful unto tlie 

In the Life of David Brainerd, (Dwigjit's edition, p. 187,) we read: "De- 
cember 28, [1743.] Rode about six miles to the ordination of Mr. Hopkins. 
At the solemnity I was somewhat affected with a sense of the greatness and 
unportance of the work of a minister of Christ. Afterwards was grieved to 
see the vanity of the multitude. In the evening, spent a little time with some 
Christian friends, with some degree of satisfaction ; but most of tlic time I had 
rather have been alone." 


Gloomy as his forebodings had been, Hopkins at length succeeded 
in collecting five persons to unite in forming his church. On his 
ordination day, Job.n and .Toimh Pixley, .Tames Sexton, Asahel King, 
and Jonathan Nash, with himself as their pastor, were constituted a 
church in this wilderness.* How faithfully he labored for tl)is feeble 
band, and with how much of a missionary spirit he struggled against 
the untoward influences of his parish, may be inferred from the 
following passages of his .Tournal : 

" August 28, 1744. This evening I have had unusual freedom in prayer 
Had some sense of the miserable state of my people, and some wrestlings for 
tliem. Was enabled to give myself up afresh to Christ, taking him with his 
cross, being heartily willing, if I might have his presence, to undergo all ])os- 
sible hardships and trials. Was enabled with a holy scorn to trample upon 
and despise the world, with all created good. I have taken some pains to 
prevent tliere being a tavern here next year ; for Avhich some arc offended 
with me, yea, even rage at me. I have felt for twenty-four hours a calm in 
my own breast, respecting that, fully acquiescing in the will of God concern- 
ing it ; and I was enabled this evening, especially, to commit this matter to God, 
and I choose his Avill should be done, whatever it is. [Thus it appears that 
Hopkins began early to be a reformer.] — November 20. Visited four Dutch 
families to-day. I fear they have not much true religion among them. I 
asked one, if she thought she could save herself. She answered, ' I don't 

* Many of these facts arc found in ■' A History of the County of Berkshire," and in 
Barber's " Historical Collections of Massachusetts." 



know, — I will try.' This is the very language of the natural man, thougli 
all don't speak it out. — April 3, 1745. Have been very much discouraged, 
and thing's look very dark to me, ever since I came from Northampton last. 
I have inward difficulties and outward troubles which are too great for me, 
so that I go mourning all the day. I often fear I have no call among this 
people, and this day am almost determined to leave tliem ; yea, to leave off 
preaching. My inward burdens and troubles are inexpressible, almost. Here 
is a fast to-morrow, and I cannot think of any thing to say to the people. 

" Sunday, April 7. Preached to-day from Phil. iii. .18, 19. Had some 
liberty in speaking in the forenoon, but was enabled to speak with more 
warmtli, vigor, and closeness this afternoon. I hope some one Avas smitten 
by the Avord. — Sunday, April 28. Preached to-day. Had some freedom 
of speech, sed non prasenlimn Dei. — Sunday, May 12. Administered the 
sacrament. I have been very much sunk in my mind to-day and yesterday. 
Began to catechize the children in public. 

" Sunday, August 4. Went to meeting in the forenoon. It raining very 
hard, but few people were there ; therefore oidy prayed, sung, and read a 
chapter. Preached P. M. from Rom. vi. 28, without much freedom. 

" July 25, 1749. Had freedom in secret prayer this evening. I think I can 
safely appeal to God, and solemnly declare before him, that I desire his 
smiles, and acceptance in his sight, above all things else ; that I had rather 
be stripped of every worldly comfort than to be witliout this ; yea, without 
this all the world is nothing. I am also conscious before God that I am sincere 
(though, alas ! shamefully deficient) in tlie great work I have undertaken, and 
have never declined that which I seriously thought was for the spiritual good of 
my people, for any worldly interest. — May 8, 1753. Visited H. D. to-day, wlio 
is very sick, and is not like to continue long ; her sister, E., came out of the door 
after me, appearing tenderly concerned about herself; desired me to pray for 
her, which I endeavored to do when I got into my closet at home, and was 
enabled to cry to God for mercy for her soul with freedom and importunity. 
I fannot but hope that God enabled me to ask converting grace for her; and 
I humbly hope he will, in his time and way, give it. O, wliat a sweet duty 
is intercession, when it is done in faith Avith tlie whole heart ! Every fervent 
intercessor has his reward paid doum, and his prayer immediately returns 
into his own bosom. — May 9. This day H. D. died. She was a desirable 
youth, and hopefully converted a few weeks before she was taken sick ; and 
God was pleased to make me a mean of aAvakening her, Avhich I esteem 
a greater favor than if he had given me the Avhole world. This is the first 
that I have evidence of the conversion of, since I have been in the place ; 
and surely it is. Avell worth while to preach seven years (which is the time 
I have been here) to be any Avays instrumental of the conversion of one 

"December 28, 1754. This day finishes eleven years since I Avas or- 
dained to the Avork of the ministry. How poorly it has been spent, God 
knows ! Have had no success ! Have reason to be greatly ashamed. Kept 
a secret fast. God only knoAvs my misery. 

" November G, 1755. — A young AA-oman came to me this day, Avho lives in 
the parish, Avith a countenance solemnized and dejected. She says she has 
been concerned for her soul near half a year, but in a much higher degree 
about three Aveeks past ; that for tAA^o or three nights past, she had little [sleep] 
or none ; that to-day, as she had been some time alone praying, to that degree 
of engagedness that she kncAv not Avhcre she Avas, she seemed to hear Christ 
himself speak these Avords to her, ' Come unto me,' &c., Avhich Avas accom- 
panied Avith such poAver to her soul, tiiat she hopes she Avas enabled to 
believe on Christ. I hope she is born again, but am not Avithout fears. May 
the kind Redeemer prevent her being deluded. 

"Lord's Day, December 29, 175.5. Was sent for, in the intermission 

to-day, to go and see . The messenger said she Avas dying ; but 

when I came there, I found her full of joy and comfort, supposing she had 


had saving discoveries of Christ. She admired the goodness of God, and 
called upon all to praise him. Upon examining her, I was satisfied tliat she 
was deceived : that it was only the workings of her imagination. She was 
confident ; but I told her my fears. How exposed to the delusions of the 
devil are ignorant persons! especially those whose understanding is shat- 
tered, and their imagination lively by a fever. 

" Monday, November 1, 1756. Attended the funeral of Sergeant John 
Pixley, who died last night ahout nine o'clock. Asahel King and Jolm 
Pixley were members of this church, and both friendly to nie and to the 
interest of religion, [and] were some of the most constant attenders on public 
worship. Asahel King was a man of more than common good sense, and 
promised to be a useful man in church and state. I and the interest of 
religion have received a greater loss in his death than [we should have 
received, perhaps, in the loss of any other.] I have in liim lost my greatest 
and ablest friend in this place. A prince is fallen, and I am weak." 

The preceding quotations indicate the liigh standard of Christian 
character, and the habit of plain dealing, for which tJie j)astor of 
Great Barrington was noted, and by whicli he gained little popu- 
larity with the multitude. He told men just what he thought of 
them. On one occasion, a friend came to him, and described " a 
great CONVERSION," of which he had recently been the subject. Mr. 
Hopkins said to him : " After several seasons of great excitement 
and life, and several of depression, you will probably give up all 
your hope, and icithin two years, or perhaps one, you will he worse than 
ever. Go now, I beg of you, and become truly penitent for your 
sins." The predicted apostasy took place. But, after a ?ew years, 
the same fiiend revisited Mr. Hopkins, and mourned over his own 
sinfulness, and wondered that he did not love the divine character, 
which appeared so amiable. " Ah," said the sagacious pastor, " you 
will not get rid of this in six months. Your raising God one minute, 
and depressing yourself the next, — your alternately exalting his law, 
and falling down at the foot of the cross, — seem to indicate that God's 
Spirit has been with you." And so it was. Mr. Hopkins's " power 
of detecting the symptoms of religious decline, and of determining 
the true state of the heart, formed one of the distinguishing qualifi- 
cations of his pastoral character. It was this that made him the spir- 
itual adviser of so many ; and that induced clergymen at a distance 
to refer to him, so frequently, doubtful cases of church discipline."* 

Here we see anotiier point of resemblance between the pastor of 
Housatonick and his theological instructor. In his Memoir of that 
instructor, the pupil says just what we may say of Hopkins himself: 
" In this world, so full of darkness and delusion, it is of great im- 
portance that all should be able to distinguish between true religion 
and that wliich is false. In this, perhaps, none has taken more 
pains, or labored more successfully, than he whose life is set before 
the reader."! 

* See Ferguson's Memoir of Hopkins, pp. 136-139. 

t Hopkins's Preface to his Memoir of Edwards, p. 4, Edinburgli edition. 




The opposers of Dr. Hopkins have supposed him to he devoid of 
mental versatiUty, and have inferred, from Ins metapliysical tastes, 
that he preached elaborate disquisitions rather than practical ser- 
mons, and wrote his discourses for the press rather than for his 
audience. He doubtless was tempted to do so, but too consci- 
entious to comply with the temptation. It is interesting to notice 
how many expedients he tried to edify his hearers, and how often 
liis mind oscillated with regard to the most effective style of public 
discourse. He writes, on the 2d of March, 1743, ten months after 
his licensure to preach : 

" Expounded this night at my lodging. Was very Iom' and dull all day, so 
that I could not study; but just before the exercise began, I tliought of this 
place, Isaiah xl. .5, &c. Had words put into my mouth strangely, thouoh not 
with such a feeling sense as sometimes. Who would not trust in the Lord ? 

" Hoilsatonick, July 5, 1743. [After preaching a sermon before Rev. Mr. 
Sergeant, predecessor of Edwards at Stockbridgo, Hopkins says :] I perceive 
that Mr. Sergeant was not well pleased with it. He made several objections 
against it to me, and though he did not in plain words say so, yet he evidently 
disliked my preaching Avithout notes. It may be that I am in the wrong in 
thus doing, but I do not see it yet. O that God would lead me in the way that 
I should go ! 

"July 10. I have preached now five Sabbaths altogether without notes, 
and believe it the best way for me to practise it. 

" Thursday, October 4, 1744. I prayed and preached. Had no freedom 
at all. Used my notes pretty much. I something suspect I had better fling 
them quite by. 

"Sunday, June IG, 1745. Preached to-day. Wrote almost all that I 
preached, and read all that I wrote. I propose to preach a system or body of 
divinity ; to lay open and explain the fundamental doctrines of tlie gosptd in 
their order, and have begun to-day. 

" Friday, September 28. I was much at a loss about a subject to preach 
upon to-day, (this morning ;) upon which I made a prayer for direction, and in 
my prayer tliese words came to my mind, contained in Ex. xix. 10, 11 ; upon 
which I immediately made a sermon, and though I had no immediate or 
special assistance in making or preaching it, yet surely it may encourage me 
to depend on God. 

" Tuesday, November 4, 1755. Attended our quarterly lecture. Finding 
that but very few people attended it, I did not preacli the sermon I had pre- 
pared ; but as I went into the meeting-house, nobody being there, and expect- 
ing but few, it being late, I pitched upon Mark x. 24, and extemporized upon 
it. There were but about twenty persons at meeting." 

In his seventy-fifth year, as he reviews the experiments of his 
long ministerial life, he thus records their results : 

" For forty years or more, since I entered on the work of the ministry, I 
have made it my practice to read a chapter in the Bible, one in the forenoon, 
and the other in the afternoon; and to say something on the chapter by way 
of explanation and improvement ; in which I have not confined myself as to 
the time I should spend upon it, but have said more or less, as I thought 
would be most instructive and edifying. In order to do this in the best man- 
ner I could, I have attended to the chapters to be read before the Sabbath, 


and consulted those expositors which were within my reach, which has g^en- 
erally cost me as much time and pains as the studying of my sermons. And 
I hxve thoutjht this was as profitable a part of the public exercises as preach- 
ing, which has not been neglected by thus reading and expounding. And I 
have had satisfactory evidence that the hearers, in general, have been pleased 
with, and thought themselves most edified by, this practice. And I have for 
some years past neglected to preach a sermon, in the common way, in the 
forenoon, and, instead of it, have expounded and improved the cliapter which 
comes in course in the New Testament. And this, so far as I can learn, has 
been as acceptable to the congregation in general, as preaching from one par- 
ticular text, if not more so. 

" I have not been confined to my notes in preaching, except for a short 
time, when I first began : and have not generally written my sermons in full 
length, but only the heads of them, and some short hints to suggest ideas, 
which were to be mentioned under the general lieads.* I do not, however, 
recomr.iend this as the best method. I think it would be best, in general, to 
write all the sermon, and commit it to memory,f with an allov/ance to deviate in 
some instances from wliat has been written, and to add to it what may be sug- 
gested to the mind in the delivery. If this practice be diligently followed for 
a time, the preacher, it is expected, will be able not only to preach without 
notes, but his mind will be so furnished with the knowledge of divinity, that 
he will be able to preach without writing his sermons. 

"I have not written the sermons which I liave preached for some years past 
I have written in this time more on the various subjects of divinity than in 
former years, but not in the form of sermons. And I suppose that a minis- 
ter cannot improve liis mind in the best manner, and make proper advances in 
the knowledge of divinity, unless he uses himself to write on divine sub- 
jects." J 

Tlie fact that Mr. Hopkins persevered so long in the extempora- 
neous style of address, ^yhich was highly unpopular among the 
preachers of his time, and also the fact that, as early as 1755, he 
read a chapter of the Bible before his morning and his afternooQ 
sermon,§ — a practice which was then denounced and shunned as 
''Episcopal," — indicate tlie spirit of independence and of improve- 
ment wliich characterized the favorite pupil of Edwards. If he 
had been born an orator, his extemporaneous and expositoiy practice 
would have added much to his oratorical power. As he was bdrn 
to be a teacher, this practice made him the more interesting to such 
as loved to be taught. 

* Many of the manuscripts from which Hopkins preached are about three inches 
square, and contain from (en to twenty pages, some of them covered with his peculiar 
cipher. He says that President Edwards, during tlic later years of his life, recom- 
mended the practice of preaching without notes altogether, but not without writing the 
sermons, which were to be delivered in great degree inemoriter. 

t It is very obvious that he means to recommend this method as the best for young 
preachers only, and as capacitating them to preach afterwards, without having written 
their sermons. 

t Sketches, etc., pp. 89-91 

^ By a record of President Stiles, dated January 8, 1771, it appears that Dr. Hop- 
kins was accustomed, while in Newport, to read a chapter of the Old Testament in 
course, on Sabbath morning, and a chapter of tiie New Testament in course, on Sab- 
bath afternoon, and to accompany the reading with occasional comments. 



To a merely liiiman observer, it should seem that a logician, like 
Hopkins, ought uot to have been stationed among a people who 
were trembling by night and day in fear of the Indian war whoop, 
and whose Sabbath worship even was disturbed by military prepara- 
tions. To sow the seed of the word on a battle field is discouraging 
to any one ; especially so to a man of Hopkins's philosophical tem- 
perament. It is no wonder, that such a man could not speak loud 
enough to drown the screams of women and children frightened by 
the noise of war. When his opposers have triumphed over the 
meagre success of his ministry, they have forgotten how much he 
did and how much he suffered in behalf of his country ; how often 
his parochial services were interrupted by the exposure of his fron- 
tier residence to the perils of battle. Few ministers of the gospel 
have sacrificed more than he for their country's welfare. He was a 
true patriot. A French and Indian war broke out in 1744, about a 
year after his ordination, and continued until 1749. Another raged 
from 1753 until 1763. Some might suppose that Hopkins was so 
much absorbed in metaphysics, as to feel no interest in these commo- 
tions. But the following passages of his Journal prove the contrary, 
and show the importance of our considering the interruptions of his 
ministry, when we estimate its results : 

" Sunday, July 7, 1745. Administered the sacrament and preached in the 
afternoon. A post came in sennon time, and brought ncv/s that Cape Breton 
is taken. Have concluded to go to Albany to-morrow. — Albany, July 8. 
Came here to-day with S. King and Benjamin Alvord, the post. The gentle- 
men of the city met us without the gate, and welcomed us in, being much re- 
joiced at the good news which we brought. — July 1). Staid in tlie city 
to-day, and, being invited, went into the fort, where wore all the gentlemen 
of the city. Tlie guns were shot, and all were treated with wine. Three 
bonfires were made. — Thursday, July 18. Received a proclamation for a 
pubhc thanksgiving this evening, on account of our success at Cape Breton. 
The day appointed was this, and is now past. — August 1. Kept this day as 
a thanksgiving on account of success at Cape Breton. Preached from Mai. 
ii. 2. Had some liberty of speech. [A conscientious observance.] — October 
4. The gentlemen from Boston, Avho are going to the treaty at Albany, lodge 
here to-night. — Sunday, October 13. Received news by the post to-day, 
that the Indians have killed one man and taken another on Connecticut River. 
— November 22. Some time after midnight last night, there caine a man to 
my lodgings, and cried out with all earnestness, saying that Stockbridge was 
beset and taken by tlie Indians — that there Avere a multitude of them, able to 
drive all before thorn ; Avhich news was brought by a couple of young men 
who had fled from Stockbridge. This news alarmed the whole house and tlie 
wliole town in an instant. But people were soon in some measure calmed, by 
hearing that the report was false — that Stockbridge Avas not beset, though 
they expected them there every hour. This day the most of my people 
moved oflT into forts. Having none in'this place, I, Avith my landlord's family, 
went doAvn to Mr. Hubbard's, and lodge in the fort at Eiisha Noble's. — No- 
vember 23. Had a very poor lodging in the fort last night. The house was 


crowded with women and children. There came up yesterday and last night 
above a hundred men from Connecticut, who returned to-day, havmg found 
out, by a post from Kinderhook, that the story which so alarmed the country 
is false. — Tiiursday, December 5. This day being appointed for public 
thanksgiving, I preached from Psalm Ivi. 12, 13, without any more sensible 
freedom than nature will afford. — Sunday, December 8. Went to the fort 
last night to lie, and some time in the night news came from Stockb ridge that 
a barn was set on fire and burnt up, — supposed to be done by the Indians and 
French, — which made something of an alarm among us. Went to meeting, 
and preached but one sermon, from Matt. x. 28. Had some freedom in 
prayer and preaching. — Thursday, August 14, 174G. Attended the public 
thanksgiving to-day, ordered on account of the victory of the Duke of Cum- 
berland over the rebels in Scotland, gained April 10. I preached from Prov. 
xi. 10, with some freedom of speech. — Northampton, Tuesday, August 26. 
Came here to-day. Lodge at Mr. Edwards's. The Indians killed five men 
and a girl at Deerfield, yesterday. — Sunday, September 28. Have been 
strongly urged to go into the woods with a scout of a hundred men, to be gone 
a fortnight or more. — Stockbridge, Monday, September 29. Came here to- 
day from home, with the design to go in the scout if Mr. Sergeant should ad- 
vise to it, and with his advice have concluded to set out with them. — Sep- 
tember 30. Set out in the afternoon, with a scout of one hundred white men 
and nineteen Indians, and travelled about four miles, and then encamped by a 
large pond. I and some others lodge in a house before made by the Indians. 
— Pontoosuk, October 1. Rose this morning finely refreslied in my bark 
house, for which I was in a measure thankful to God, who can give health 
when means are wanting. Drank a dish of tea in an Indian spoon, made in 
a tin pot. One man returned to Stockbridge, being out of health. It rained 
last night, and looked lively to rain to-day ; but we set out, and have arrived 
safe to Pontoosuk. It began to rain before we got here ; but there being a 
house made before, a fire was directly built, and we are very comfortable. 
Two more Indians came in this night, and bring a letter from Captain Wil- 
liams, directing not to go above the fort destroyed at Hoosack ; and if we do, 
order his Indians back wlio arc listed for Canada. — December 24. It proving 
a very cold and Avindy day, and having no company, I set out home. — Sun- 
day, February 15, 1747. Captain Williams came here before night, and 
lodged with me. ' Ho has orders to provide for the soldiers on this river, for 
their march to Albany in order for Crown Point. — Tuesday, March 10. The 
soldiers in this place are enlisted for Canada. Being called off into the wars, 
they desired mo to preach a sermon to them before they wont off. Accord- 
ingly, we liad a meeting, and I preaciied from Ps. cxliv. 1. — Sunday, April 12. 
Preached to-day in Conrad Burghast's fort, (people not being inclined to go to 
the meeting-house,) from Isaiah xxii. 12, 13, 14." 

Letter to Dr. Bellamy. — " September 3, 1754. Reverend and Dear Sir : 
The dire alarm we have had is like to prevent the proposed journey of myself 
and wife ; yet I sliall come down next week, if it can be thought prudent to 
leave my family. You will doubtless rejoice with me when you hear tliat the 
first news we had from Stockbridge was not true ; that good Mr. Edwards is yet 
alive, and, as we hope, safe. His fits of the fever and ague had left him some 
time ago, but are now returned again, and he has a fit every day. I made 
him a visit last week. He seemed to be more dejected and melancholy than 
I ever saw him before ; is quite [depressed], and j)ines at tlie loss of so much 
time. On the Lord's [day] P. M., as I was reading the psalm, news came 
that Stockbridge was beset by an army of Indians, and on fire, which broke 
up the assembly in an instant. All were put into the utmost consternation — 
men, women, and children crying, *What shall we do?' — not a gun to 

* Mr. Hopkins often speaks of the military and civil officers lodging at his house 
during the Indian wars. 



defend us, not a fort to flee to, and few guns and little ammunition in the place. 
Some ran one way and some another ; but the general course was to the south- 
ward, especially for women and children. Women, children, and squaws 
presently flocked in upon us from Stockbridge, half naked, and frighted almost 
to death ; and fresh news came, that the enemy were on the Plains this side 
Stockbridge, shooting, and killing, and scalping people as they fled. Some 
presently came along bloody, with news that they saw persons killed and 
scalped, which raised a consternation, tumult, and distress inexpressible, many 
particulars of which Mr. Wheeler, now at my house, quorum pars mas;na fuit, 
can relate, which I have not now time to write. Two men are killed and 
pcalpcd, two children killed, and one of them scalped ; but two Indians [have 
been] seen at or near Stockbridge, that we certainly know of. Two Indiana 
may put Now England to a hundred thousand pounds' charge, and never much 
expose themselves, in the way we now take. The troops that came to our 
assistance are now drawing off; and what have they done ? They have seen 
Stockbridge, and [eaten] up all tlieir provision, and fatigued themselves, and 
that's all ; and now we are left as much exposed as ever, (for I suppose they 
are all going.) In short, the case of New England looks very dark, especially 
of the frontiers. A few savages may be a terrible scourge to us, &c. — I 
began this letter in the morning, since which time (for it is now past five 
o'clock, P. M.) I have had thoughts of moving my children to Canaan. If I 
do, I shall be at commencement, it is likely. My regards to Mrs. Bellamy. 
From your friend and servant, Sam'l Hopkins." 

" September 12, 17.54. This day I moved my family to Canaan, to the 

house of Mr. Jonas M , that they may bo out of the way of fear from the 

Indians. — October 23. Moved my family home to-day, and have all got safe 
to my own house. — November 20. This evening my wife met with a sad ac- 
cident. A pound of powder, being wet, was set in my oven, last night, to 
dry. As my wife was lighting a candle just at the oven's mouth, the powder 
took fire, and burnt her face and neck very much. It was a wonder it iiad not 
killed her. Blessed bo God for this preservation! — Lord's Day, February 2.3, 
17.55. A great number of Connecticut soldiers were at meeting, who are 
going to Stockbridge and Pontoosuk, to build forts and scout, &c. — Thurs- 
day, .July 3, 1755. Attended a public fast to-day, which was appointed to 
seek God for success in the expeditions going on this summer in North Amer- 
ica; one pgainst those that used to be neutral Frencli at the eastward; 
another against Crown Point o,nd a French fort near Oswego Lake ; another 
against the French on the Ohio. Preached, A. M., from Deut. xxiii. 9 ; P. M. 
from 2 Chron. xiii. 18. — July 9. Heard to-day that the Indians have taken a 
man, and woman, and child, about ten miles to the west of us. It was done 
yesterday, and one Indian was killed by the husband, while he was attempt- 
ing to carry off his wife a captive. One woman is also wounded. Two or 
three Indians chased a man about a mile and a half west of my house. Upon 
this news, -we think it not prudent to live at my house, and have therefore 
concluded to lodge at mother Ingersoll's this night. — September 1.3. Had 
news this week that our army going to Crown Point was beset by French and 
Indians, upon which great numbers set out for their assistance. But last night 
a post came from the army, with the joyful news that our army has got the 
victory, with the loss of about an hundred men ; that the French have lost 
nine hundred, and many are become prisoners, &c. May God have the glory! 
— Lord's Day, September 14. Preached from Psalm cvii. 21, with applica- 
tion to the victory granted last week to our army, over the French and In- 
dians. — December 5. Near twenty soldiers lodged at my house last night, 
on their return from the camp at Lake George, and a number are here again 
this night. — Lord's Day, May 16, 175G. A great number of soldiers at 
meeting, both forenoon and afternoon, who are on their march to Crown Point 
Two captains and their companies desired prayers in their behalf in the after- 

Letter to Dr. Bellamy. — "August 10, 1757. Reverend and Dear Sir; 


You have abundance of news bolow, I suppose. We have none hero from 
the forts since last Friday night ; and the most we can depend on is, that a 
close siege is laid to the upper fort, and our men are in a distressed situation, 
if not taken or relieved ; that General Webb, with the forces then arrived at 
Fort Edward, (which Colonel Dwight thinks must be near six thousand,) went 
on Lord's day or Monday for their relief. People from Wcstfield and Spring- 
field, &c., have been passing by us ever since Monday evening. Whether 
the lower counties are in motion, have not heard. The upper part of this 
county, Nortliampton, &c., I hear don't stir, because they think themselves 
in danger ! Ah, such colonels ! I think it high time to have a change in the 
ministry here, as well as in England. But I'll suppress invectives. There will 
be enough without mine. Most men seem to be touchy and waspish, and, in ca- 
lamity, ready to blame somebody. But few look as high as the heavens, or 
are sensible that they rule. If tlie princes in Zoau arc become fools, by 
whose ordering is it? This in aluirry (though perhaps it [will not] get to you 
so.) No more, but that I am yours, Samuel Hopkins." 

Letter to Dr. Bellamj/. — " August 15, 1757. Reverend and Dear Sir : The 
news that you may depend upon is, that Fort William Henry was surrendered 
to the French, August 9, at seven o'clock, A. M., our men having liberty to 
march out with their arms and packs, and one brass cannon. That the Indians 
stripped and killed some of our men before they left the fort, which was the 
next morning about sunrise, and followed them four or live miles when they 
marched, stripped them all, and killed hundreds, (hov/ many not known,) in the 
most barbarous manner. That 'tis not known v/hether the French design to 
evacuate the fort or keep it. Tliat General Johnson's Indians say that large 
parties of the enemy have struck off towards our frontiers since the surrender 
of the fort. That on this account two regiments, viz., Colonel Williams's 
and Colonel Ruggles's, (one of which had got to Kinderhook, the other had 
passed this place,) are gone back to guard the frontiers on Connecticut River, 
and three companies of Colonel Chandler's regiment (Worcester county) arc 
gone to Stockhridge. That there is an innumerable company of men at Fort 
Edward, all in a huddle and confusion, doing nothing, and like to be of no 
service, if the enemy are withdrav/n, which (to mo, at least) is n\ost probable. 
That men are still passing by us tovv-ards the fort. Some hundreds, now in 
town, have sent back to Springfield to General Pepperell, (for he is there,) 
to know v/hat to do; whether go forward or go back. — Current reports are, 
that Generals Johnson and Lyman, two days before the fort was taken, with 
tears in their eyes, begged leave to march for the relief of the garrison, but 
could not obtain. That General Webb sent orders to the commandant at 
William Henry to deliver up the garrison three days before he did, &c., &c., 
&c. — Many reflections rise in my mind which I suppress as not worth send- 
ing to you. These are dark times indeed, but I predict much darker. But 
this is with God, and this in some measure supports your friend and ser- 
vant, Samuel Hopkins." 

Sometimes oar theologiaa writes with force on the ill-judged 
movements of the troops. " As to the tinny," he says, in 1756, " our 
general ofHcers are very grand. The particular or private baggage 
of each one is at leant Jive cart loach. The French will support a 
bigger army, with ])erhaps one quarter of the company. Mighty 
preparations, but uotliing done. Is not a truly martial spirit de- 
parted 1 " His words, considering that he was a divine, often sound 
like a trumpet. He strove to stir up his countrymen to high eftbrt. 
He labored and suftered for us, and we enjoy the fruits of his toil, 
while we complain of his unsuccessful ministry. His patriotism 
fitted him to be a theologian, and liis theology made liim a patriot 



The self-denying pastor of Housatonick not only felt a deep con- 
cern for the political condition of his o\vn country, but also for the 
spiritual welfare of the Indians. We often find him preaciiiiig to 
the tribes of red men collected at Stockbridge, about an hour's ride 
from his own house. These Indians became so warmly attached to 
him, that upon the death of their celebrated missionary. Rev. John 
Sergeant, they earnestly desired Mr. Ho|)kins to supply the vacant 
place. Had he accepted the appointment, he woidd have received 
from the government a much larger income than he could ever ex- 
pect to receive at Great Barrington. The following is his modest 
narrative : 

" It was disagreeable to nie to go so far from Mr. Edwards, as I did wlion 
I settled at Great Barrington, (being at least sixty miles,) with whom I had 
studied so long, and who was able to assist mc farther to make advancement 
in knowledge, could I live in his neighborhood, so as to be able to visit him 
often, and converse with him, &c. But I was relieved and gratified with re- 
spect to this, in a few years after my settlement, bj' his removing from Nortli- 
ampton and settling at Stockbridgc, witiiin seven miles of my house. Mr. Ser- 
geant, wlio was missionary to the Indians at Stockbridge, when I settled at 
Great Barrington, died on the 27th of July, 1710. The next year, the com- 
missioners in Boston, who had the care of the Indian mission at Stockbridge, 
sent to me their proposal and desire that I would accept of that mission, in 
v/liich invitation both the wbite people and the Indians at Stockbridge ear- 
nestly joined. And the Indians sent a particular messenger to me to entreat 
me to come and be their minister. My ans'.ver was, that I would take the 
matter into serious consideration. But as I did not think myself equal to such 
a situation and business, I should hesitate with regard to accepting the offer, 
tliougli I should not know of any other man better qualified to take the place. 
But as I had one in view wjio Avas mucli bcttc/r qualified, every way, for such 
a mission, if he could be obtained, as I hoped he could, if I othervrise v.-ere 
inclined to accept, I should refuse, in order to introduce him. Mr. Edwards 
was the man whom I had in view. He had been dismissed from the church 
in Northampton in tlie year 1750. I therefore wrote to the commissioners in 
Boston, recommending him in the strongest terms, as the most proper person 
for that mission, and mentioned him to the white people, and to the Indians, 
as the most suitable man for tlieir minister. Accordingly, he v.-as introduced, 
and settled there, in August, 1751, not quite eight years after I was settled at 
Great Barrington." * 

As Mr. Edwards liad become very unpopular among the churches 
at this time, he did not regard it probable that he could obtain any 
where a re-settlement in the ministry. According to Hopkins's Memoir 
of him, " beggary, as well as disgrace, stared him full in the face, 
if he persisted in his principles." It is unlikely that he could have 
elsewliere found so advantageous a residence as Stockbridge ; for here 
he was near to the friend whose opiuu)ns and character he highly 
valued, and their mutual fellowship amid the toils of the wilderness 

* Sketches, etc., pp. 53, 51. 


would discipline their hearts for the best kind of theolooicul investi- 
gation. A jjicture of Edwards and Hopkins, moving- alioiit among 
the wigwams of Stockbridge Phiin, would be instructive. It is also 
encouraging to remember that tlie impressions then made by these 
two divines upon the Stockbridge tribes, are, perhajjs, now to be 
traced uj)on the descendants of these tribes, on the banks of the 
Verniillion River. 

Between 1760 and 1770, we find our philanthropic pastor engaged 
in a correspondence with the Commissioners of the Society for prop- 
agating the Gospel ; and also with Dr. Eleazer Wheelock, in refer- 
ence to the education of Indian youth. He entered into the details of 
the enterprise, and took a fresli interest in all, even the humblest indi- 
viduals, \vho could fiirther it. lie manifests much good sense in his 
letters ; us, for example, in the following to President Wheelock : 

September 30, 1751. " Mr. Ilawley, in a letter to me of tlie 20th instant, 
desires me to inform yon of the follov/ing particulars, which I will g-ive you in 
his ov.'u words : ' Since I v/rotc my letter to Mr. Wheelock, I am advised that 
Mr. Occom is not quite so acceptaole to the Indians there' (at Oneida) 'as 1 
heard at first. He tells them they must not cut tlieir hair, but let it grow, as 
the English do : that they must riot wear their Indian ornaments, as wampum, 
and the like, but put them off, and burn them in the fire ; that they must not 

feast at weddings, at the birth and baptism of their children, &c., 

&c. These are points that he insists greatly upon, which are too unpopular 
for them.' — I am sorry to hear this of Mr. Occom, Avhich, if true, I think 
shows him greatly deficient in that prudence which is necessary for an Indian 
missionary, and renders him unfit to go among Indians ; at least alone. We 
shall be informed of more particulars when Mr. Hawley returns, when I hope 
lie will make you a visit." 


Tiio subject of this Memoir is called a metaphysical preacher. 
In his tendencies he was sucii. But he often resisted those tenden- 
cies, and aimed to speak such words as fitted his audience. Even 
in his old age, still more in the meridian of his life, " his preaching 
had much naivete when he descended from his abstractions. He 
used to speak without circumlocution, and in a plain, conversational 
way. Once, in preaching at Dr. Patten's, he spoke of the " loaves 
and fishes " as what men were still running after, and his simple, 
blunt manner j)rovoked a smile from some of his younger hearers. 
He saw it, and said, "You may smile, but it's true." * 

This reminiscence of Dr. Channing solves the oft-proposed 
query. How could a metaphysician like Hopkins have engaged the 
interest of the Housatonick and Mohawk Indians ? for tliey heard 
him gladly. The following sermon sheds more light than would 
come from a volume of criticism, on liis general principle of adapt- 

* Extract from a letter of Rev. William E. Channing^, D. D. 


mg himself to his liearers. What if his philosophical speculations 
raised him often above his auditory ? This is a fault of human 
nature. The habits of the philosopher thwart sometimes the inten- 
tions of the minister. Perhaps this sermon is the only one ad- 
dressed to the American Indians vvhich has ever been printed. And it 
is singular, that such a sermon should have come from one of whom 
it has been said,* that " his love of metaphysics carries him out of 
real life." There is not in the records of our literature a more inter- 
esting old manuscript than has been found among the papers of 
Hopkins, indorsed with these significant words: " N. B. — These 
sermons were preached to the Indians the next Sabbath after ]Mr. 
Edwards left them to take the Presidency of Nassau Hall, January 
21, 1758."! — They are necessarily brief, for each sentence was first 
spoken in the English language by Mr. Hopkins, and then in the In- 
dian by an interpreter. It is probable, also, that the preacher, as 
was his wont, introduced extemporaneous remarks at the close of the 
written paragraphs. But let us not detain the reader from one, as a 
specimen, of these Indian discourses. 

Text. — Luke viii. 4-15. The Parable of the Sower. Our Saviour in 
this discourse, compares the hearers of the word to four sorts of ground, that 
the seed which men sow falls on. 

One sort of hearers ho compares to the highway — the hard path. The 
seed that falls on the hard, trodden path makes no impression on the ground, 
but lies on the top, bare and uncovered ; and then the birds come and pick it 
up, and so it is lost. So some that liear tlie word, don't mind it much. It 
does not lay hold of their hearts and make them concerned about their souls. 
Their hearts are as hard as tlio hard path ; and so tlie word is all lost, and 
does them no good. As the birds eat the seed that falls on the path, so the 
devil steals the word out of the mind of sucli, tJiat he may destroy their 

Another sort of hearers Christ compares to a rock that lies just under 
ground, and has a little tliin dirt on it. The seed that is sown on such a 
rock will fall into the dirt that is on it, and be covered; and because it has 
a thin covering, it will sprout and come up quick ; but because there is not 
dirt enough for the roots to grow in, when the sun sliines hot upon it, it 
withers away and dies. So, many tliat hear the ■» ord think a great deal 
about it. They believe it, and are affected with it, at first. They love to 
hear the Avord, and are concerned about their souls, for a ^vhile, and they 
intend always to be good, and so go to heaven ; but yet their hearts are not 
really good. They are not truly born again, so as to have ne\v hearts ; and 
therefore, when they are tempted to sin, they turn from all the good they had, 
and fall into sin. All their goodness withers away, and they are often worse 
than they were before. 

Another sort of hearers of the word Christ compares to ground full of 
thorns. The bushes are cut off and the ground ])loughed a little, but it is 
all full of the roots of thorns that are not killed. When the seed sprouts and 
grows, the thorns grow too, and outgrow the Avheat, and shade it, and kill it. 
So, many that hear the word mind it some, and seem as if they intended to 
become good ; but presently the cares of the world, and their lusts and 
pleasures, root all good thoughts out of their hearts, and tliey become as bad 
as ever. 

* By Dr. Ashbel Green, in his Memoir, p. 240. 



Anotlier sort of hearers Christ compares to good ^onnd — good strong 
land, which is well fitted for seed. The seed fulls into this, comes up, and 
grows, and brings forth good frnit. So some that hear the Avord receive it 
into good hearts? They love the word and obey it heartily, and when they 
die, they go to heaven. 

Now, which of these sorts of hearers are yon ? What effect do the words 
of Christ have on your heart ? You all hear the word ; Christ sends his 
ministers to sow the word among you. Are not some of you like the path ? 
You don't mind or care any thing about ^^•hat you hear. Do you not forget 
what you hear at meeting before you get home, and never think any thing 
more about it ? The word never comes to your heart so as to make you con- 
corned about your souls. Other things come to your heart. You are greatly 
concerned about them and affected witli them ; but you don't care about 
what Christ says to you. Don't some of you mind the devil more than you 
do Christ, and suffer him to take away Christ's words out of your heart ? 

Are not some of you like the stony ground? You have been affected 
with the word, it may be. The word once seemed to come to your heart, 
and you reformed your wicked practices, and prayed to God. You was con- 
cerned about your souls, and ^vanted to get an interest in Christ. You loved 
to hear the word, and had great hopes you was good and should be saved. 
But have you not fallen away, and forsaken Christ and religion ? Have you 
not been like the wheat that comes up on a rock .' At first you seemed to 
grow and flourish, as if you would bring forth a good crop : but have you 
not since hearkened to temptations, and forsaken the ways of Christ ? Is not 
all your religion withered and dried up ? If it is so, the v/ord of Christ never 
had root in your hearts. Your hearts are like the hard rock, where the seed 
cannot take root and grow. Tliis stony heart must be broken and taken 
away, and a new, soft heart given you, or you cannot be saved. 

Are not some of you like the ground full of thorns ? The word has been 
sown upon your hearts, and seemed to take some root. You reformed many 
things, and said you would be good, you would love and serve Christ ; but 
have you not altered your mind and changed your course since ? Have not your 
lusts and the wickedness of your heart turned you away from Christ ? Don't 
vou care more a.boutthe things of the world, now, than about Christ? Is not 
tlie word become unfruitful by your worldly cares and lusts ? The good seed 
cannot grow in such hearts, that mind the world more than Christ. Your 
vricked liearts must be changed, and the bad things must be torn out of tlieni, 
as the roots of thorns are torn out of the ground, or the word Avill do 
you no good. 

Are any of your Iioarts like the good ground ? Has the word fallen into 
your hearts, and do you keep it there ? Do your hearts love Christ and his 
ways ? Do you love to hear of Christ, and do what he bids you ? And do you 
bring forth good fruit by obeying Christ ? You ought seriously to inquire 
how it is with you in these respects. 

Christ has been sowing the seed of his word among you. Mr. Edwards 
has been here a good wliile, sowing tlie word among you. He has sowed a' 
great deal of good seed among you, and has watered it with his prayers and 
counsels, and tried to make it grow. But now he has done soAving the good 
seed among you, and is gone ; and now you ought to sit down and consider 
what is become of the good seed that is sown. If your hearts are not bad, 
if they are like the good ground, tlie word he has sown among you Avill do 
you a great deal of good, and bring fortli much fruit ; but if your hearts are 
bad, the good seed will all be lost ; there will be no good fruit, but 'tis to 
be feared you will go to hell, after all. 

It may be you iKU-fe been a little affected Avith the Avord sometimes, but 
then it has vanished aAvay and come to nothing. And have not some of you 
grown Avorse and Avorse Avhile the Avord has been soAvn among you, rather 
than better? Are you not Avorse tlian you Avould have been, if you had never 
heard the Avord ? Many times this is the case. If you cut trees off of land, 


and do not plougli it and kill the roots, it grows worse than it was before, in a 
few years, and often gets full of briers and thorns. So it may be with some of 
you. Yon are worse than those that never heard the word. If this is the 
case, the fault is not in the seed sown, but in your hearts. 

All good folks in the country are looking on you, and inquiring about you, 
whether the word sown among you is fruitful. They v,'ill inquire of Mr. 
Edwards whether you have received the word into your hearts, and bring 
forth frnit in your lives. The good angels, that come down from heaven to 
earth, are looking on you, to see what effect the ivord has upon you ; and 
news is carried to heaven about you, and it is there known whether the word 
sown brings forth good fruit. Christ is every day looking upon you, to see 
what effect his word has among you. Surely, then, it becomes you to 
inquire and see how this matter is. How must we answer this question ? 
Does the word sown at Stockbridge grow and flourish, or is it all lost .' Must 
it not be said tliere are a great many who receive the word no better than 
tlie higliway does the seed, where it makes no impression at all ? — that 
many that made a hopeful appearance, and promised to be good, are fallen 
away and come to nothing? I hope it can be said there is some good fruit; 
but who of you are fruitful, so as to be an honor to Christ and a credit 
to religion? 

And now let me entreat you to hear the word and receive it into your 
hearts. He that has been sowing the word among you is gone, but we hope 
Christ will send another still to sow good seed among you. You ought to 
pray earnestly every day for this. But how will you pray heartily for this, if 
[you are not willing] to receive the word ? You ought to be concerned, 
therefore, to got good hearts. Though you liave never so good a minister, 
if you have no heart to receive and obey the word, lie will do you no good. 
Yea, it would be better for you if you had never lieard of Christ, than to hear 
and refuse to mind what he says to you. So St. Peter says, (2 Pet. ii. 21,) 
Christ will be exceeding angry with you, and cast you into hell, if you will 
not mind what he says ; and you will be more tormented than those that 
never heard his gospel. The devil is trying to catch the word away, and 
hindering its laying hold of your hearts ; and if you hearken to him once, he 
will have more power against you. 

Sowing time will be over by and by ; and they that bear good fruit, Christ 
will take to lieaven, but the unfruitful he will hurn in hell, as men burn 
briers and thorns. O, then, root every wicked thing out of your hearts. 
Cross and kill every lust. Pray earnestly to Cod, that he would make your 
hearts soft and good. God only can change tiie hearts of men, and make 
them good, and tit, like the good ground, for seed. If he does not change 
them, they will bring forth briers and thorns. Cry earnestly to God, then, for 
this mercy, as David did : " Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a 
right spirit within me." 

Observation I. Men may hear the word, may have it sown among them a 
great while, and yet get no good by it. Tiic devil and their own wicked 
hearts may join to reject it all. Their hearts do not grow softer and better, 
but harder and more wicked, under the word. How sad is the case of such ! 
Tliey will be cast into a fire that never can be put out, and tormented by 
devils forever and ever. The devil will laugh at them, in hell, for being so 
foolish as not to mind what Christ said to them, and they will be angry at 
themselves and curse themselves for their own folly. 

[Obs.] 2. Many may do a great deal in religion, and come to no good at 
last, but fall away when they are tempted, &c. 

[Obs.] 3. The best way' to know whether tlie word does good, is to see 
what fruit is brought forth. 

[Obs.] 4. They who fall away when temptations come have reason to 
think they have no goodness. When they have no temptations, they will be 
very good, and resolve always to be so ; but every time they come into tempta- 
tion, they fall away. This is because goodness has no root in their hearts. 


Men that have jjood hearts can resist temptation, and they [will remain good 
in spite of temptation] ; but when the heart is not right, men will lose all 
their goodness in the time of temptation. 

[Obs.] 5. The word of Christ and tliey that sow tlie word, are not to blame 
that men are not good, and do not bring forth fruit. They sow good seed, 
and it does not prosper because the heart is not good. If men sow good seed 
on bad ground, it will not grow, though they sow it never so well, and never 
so often. So it is with those that sow Christ's word. If it is sown in bad 
hearts, it will not grow and bring forth fruit; but wickedness will grow up 
and choke the word of Christ. 

[Obs.] (). They that hear the word are in great danger of going to hell. 
Most that hear the word live wickedly, and go to hell. You have all need to 
be afraid of this. You had need to be concerned to have your hearts made 
soft and [mellow],* that the word may take root there, and bear fruit to 
eternal life. 


It must not Ije supposed, that while his parishiofiers at Housatonick 
remained poor, and ignorant, and fearful of savage invaders, their 
pastor was deprived of all congenial society. He was regular in 
meeting the clergy at Yale College commencement. Sometimes he 
attended the election at Boston, where he had several wealthy friends. 
Often we find David Brainerd coming to see him ; sleeping with 
him, preaching for him, etc. Often we find Hopkins at his uncle's 
parsonage in West Springfield. Still oflener we read, in liis Jour- 
nal, such notices as the following : 

" Northampton, July 23, 1743. Am kindly received by Mr. Edwards and his 
family. Made Miss Jerusha a present of a Bible. Mr. Edwards is desirous 
that I would preucji for him part of the day to-morrow, but I cannot be willing. 

"Sunday, July 24, 1743. Heard Mr. Edwards preach all day. I have 
been very dull and senseless ; much discouraged about preaching. Hearing 
Mr. Edwards makes me ashamed of myself. — Brookficld, Thursday, May 24, 
1744. Set out to-day from Northampton for Boston, in company with Madam 
Edwards and her daughter, who rides behind me [on horseback]. We lodge 
at Colonel Dwight's, at Brookfield;" [afterwards the well-known General U., 
of Great Barrington.] 

After Mr. Edwards had removed to Stockbridge, and was within 
about one hour's ]'ide from Mr. Hopkins, wc read, on almost every 
page of the Journal, such notices as these : 

" Bethlem, October 13, 1754. Mr. Edwards not being able to travel, I 
am yet with him at Mr. Bellamy's. — Friday, October 18. Having done my 
business at Waterbury, and Mr. Edwards continuing to have a severe fit every 
day, I left Mr. Edwards at Waterbury, and set out homewards to-day. Lodge 
at Mr. Bellamy's. — Thursday, August 28. This day being attended as a public 
Fast, Mr. Bellamy preached for me all day. I believe there is not a better 
preacher in America, on all accounts. — August 30. llodc with Mr. Bellamy 
yesterday to Stockbridge. — February 12, 17.5.5. Mr. Bellamy came to my 
house last Tuesday, with whom I went to Stockbridge, and staid there two 

* Some of the words enclosed in brackets, throughout this discourse, were left by Dr. 
Hopkins in cipher. They arc here inserted, after a careful comparison of his short 
hand with the context, and with his own glossary. 



nights and one day to hear Mr. Edwards read a treatise upon the Last End 
of God in the Creation of the World. Returned home to-day. Mr. Bellamy 
came with me, &c. 

" March 9. Went to Stockbridge to-day to borrow some books, and re- 

" September 2, 1756. Rode to Stockbridge to-day on an important secret 
errand, and returned. — September 3. Mr. Edwards and Madam, and their 
son Timothy, at my house to-day." 

These and similar records have a theological value. Many of 
them show that, in regard to their professional literature, Hopkins, 
Bellamy, and Edwards " had all things common ; " and each was in 
the habit of loaning to the others all the books, pamphlets, theologi- 
cal epistles, which they desired to borrow ; that they were also in 
the habit of submitting to each other's criticism the manuscripts 
which they intended to publish. 

" In one instance," says Dr. Patten, " from some inconvenience in consult- 
ing Mr. H., he [Mr. Edwards] published a work without his [Hopkins's] pre- 
vious inspection. After it was in print, he inquired of Mr. H. if he saw in it 
any thing objectionable. Mr. H. replied by asking him if he had considered 
such a particular proposition in the work. Mr. E. answered that he had not ; 
that it was a current expression among divines. Wherein was it not correct ? 
Mr. H. pointed out an objection, which Mr. Edwards immediately perceived 
and acknowledged, and remarked, ' I am sorry tliat you did not see the manu- 
script; but this I promise, that I will never publish another book without 
showing the manuscript to you, if you are in life.' 

" Long after this. Dr. Hopkins obser\'ed to the writer, that the very few 
errors of Mr. Edwards's writings were owing to the " fact that " some things 
were taken for granted as true, because they had appeared in the earlier writ- 
ings of divines, and in creeds. They were admitted as first principles, which, 
as to correctness, required no examination." * 

Before Dr. Bellamy published his " True Religion Delineated," Dr. Patten 
says that Bellamy " requested Mr. Hopkins to make him a visit of two or three 
days, that he might attend to the manuscript, and make his remarks upon it. 
When Dr. B. had proceeded some way in reading, Mr. H. said, ' Stop.' 
' Why,' said Dr. B., ' what is there here ? ' 'I would not, for five hundred 
dollars,' replied Mr. H., ' publish that sentence, with the sanction of my name 
to it.' ' But it is a quotation from Edwards,' said Dr. B. ' I know it, but it is 
wrong.' ' We are brought to a strange pass, indeed, if we cannot adopt the 
sentiments of Edwards ! ' The quotation referred to self-love. It had been 
the opinion of divines, that the self-love of the natural man is sinful only in 
its excess ; that in regeneration it is brought down to its proper level in prin- 
ciple ; like a fire, which, unrestrained, spreads over the house, but is useful 
when reduced to burn on the hearth. This opinion, as a matter of course, 
and without examination, had been adopted by Mr. Edwards. The criticism 
of Mr. H. was, that in the exercises of one who is not sanctified, there is noth- 
ing holy ; that holiness depends on the nature of the exercise, and not on the 
degree in which it is exercised ; that the love of the sinner for himself has 
nothing of that love which the law requires, more than his love for God or his 
neighbor ; as his love for God has nothing of the nature of loving him with all 
his heart, and as his love for his neighbor has nothing of the nature of loving 
his neighbor as himself, so his love for himself has nothing of the nature of 
loving himself as he does his neighbor ; that in regeneration he has but one 
love, which is new in each of these relations. Dr. B. admitted the justice of 

* Reminiscences, pp. 41, 4S. 


the criticism, and corrected that part of his work. And during the examina- 
tion, both entirely concurred in approving of that which was published. This 
distinction of the new love which one is brought to exercise for himself in 
regeneration, Mr. H. considered as having occurred to him without meeting 
with it in any commentator, and as more original in this sense than any other 
doctrine in his system," * 

As Bellamy confided in the criticisms of Hopkins, so did Hopkins 
confide in the criticisms of Bellamy ; and writes to him very fre- 
quently in a style. like the following: "July 9, 175G. The enclosed 
letters to Dr. Mayhew lay themselves at your feet and wait your 
sanction. Please to say whether either of them shall be sent. If 
one, which ? And with what corrections and emendations 1 Please 
to give the sanction, et cris mihi magnus Apollo." More than once 
he sends his manuscripts to Bellamy with such deferential words as, 
*« From your sentence there will be no appeal." Beautiful, indeed, 
was this mutual confidence of Edwards, Bellamy, and Hopkins in 
each other. 

Mr. Edwards lived nearly seven years within seven miles from his 
beloved pupil. When he was invited to the Presidency of the Col- 
lege of New Jersey, Hopkins was the leading member of the coun- 
cil which advised him to accept the invitation. It has often been 
said, that if Hopkins had expressed a different opinion, that invitation 
would have been rejected. With his usual disinterestedness, he 
parted with his revered teacher. 

" Wljen the council," he says, " published their judgment and advice to Mr. 
Edwards and his people, he appeared uncommonly moved and affected with 
it, and fell into tears on the occasion, which was very unusual for him in the 
presence of others, and soon after said to the gentlemen who had given their 
advice, that it was matter of wonder to him that they could, so easily as 
they appeared to do, get over the objections he had made against his removal 
to be the head of a college, which appeared great and weighty to him. But 
as he thought it his duty to be directed by their advice, he should now en- 
deavor cheerfully to undertake it, believing he was in the way of his duty." t 

In less than three months after this result of the council, Edwards 
was in his grave. The death of so dear a friend had a depressing 
influence upon Hopkins, whose temper was too despondent. He 
became more and more distressed with the fear, that he had sinned 
in advising the removal to Princeton. Its calamitous issue was un- 
wisely interpreted into a sign of its original wrongfulness. 


Having a giant frame, he could endure a great amount of severe 
mental application. His plain diet and his rural abode aided him in 
his intellectual processes. True, the fever and ague and other dis- 

* Reminiscences, pp. 49, 50. 

t Hopkins's Memoir of Edwards, Edinburgh edition, p. 94. 


eases of the wilderness shattered his system, as also that of Presi- 
dent Edwards ; but he retained vigor enough to rise above his 
maladies, and says, in liis seventy-fifth year : 

"My bodily constitution, I believe, has been much better than most of those 
who live a sedentary life. In the fonaer part of my life, indeed, from the 
twenty-first to the thirty-fifth or fortieth year of my age, my constitution was 
rather slender and infirm, but not so as to prevent my attending to business 
and my study, as much or more than is common among ministers. Since that 
time of life, my constitution has been better, and I have enjoyed generally a 
good state of bodily health, and have been able to study fourteen and fre- 
quently eighteen hours in a day, generally rising at four o'clock in the morn- 
ing, or between four and five, especially in the winter season. I have had 
several fits of sickness, in whicli I have been brought very low, and have been 
thought by my friends to be near death ; but these ill turns have not broken 
my constitution, but have appeared to be the means of my better health, as 
this has generally been the consequence ; and I now enjoy more bodily ease, 
healtli, and strength than is common to men of my age." * 

Dr. Patten says, that " probably, with his portion of the patri- 
monial estate," he obtained " a decent but commodious dwelling- 
house, and thirty or forty acres of land, [about a mile from his meet- 
ing-house.] The land he brought under the best cultivation, and as 
the soil was good, it was very luxuriant in its productions. He 
cultivated trees, especially apples, which he grafted with a great 
variety of the best of this species of fruit." Dr. Patten adds, that 
these " labors and cares engrossed much of his attention, and inter- 
fered with his studies and ministerial duties." f That there may 
have been a few instances of such interference, is possible. There 
are many testimonies and incidents, however, which prove that he 
usually labored on his farm less than his health required ; and that 
his literary progress was aided, rather than impeded, by his muscu- 
lar exercise. Indeed, a subsequent remark of Dr. Patten affords 
physiological evidence that this very period of Hopkins's life was 
marked by his sedentary habits, and that he ought to have been longer 
out of doors, so as to have required more generous repasts. He 
was, says Dr. Patten, "very temperate in his diet, breakfasting and 
supping on bread and milk, from a bowl containing about three gills, 
never varying from that quantity, whether his appetite required more 
or not so much. He thought that this regularity of eating tended to 
render his appetite uniform, and to confirm his health." | The 
Journal and correspondence of ]^Ir. Hopkins show him to have been 
far more deeply interested in politics than in his farm. Indeed, 
there are very few instances of his eveii alluding to his pecuniary 
affairs ; and these few are exceptions, which prove that his rule was, 
to look above the earth. The following is one allusion : 

" Friday, January 20, 1744. Have spent this week but poorly hitherto. 
Have been making a clock-reel, which seems not to be my business. I can- 

* Sketches, etc., p. 84. t Reminiscences, pp. 30, 31, 33. \ lb. p. 33. 


not live to any profit, unless I live free from the world. I design never 
to undertake such a piece of business again, under the circumstances I am 
now in." 

The uniform testimony of his survivors, who once knew him, is, 
that during the last thirty-three years of his life, he did not, from 
January to December, take so much as an hour's exercise, except 
on parochial business, or in journeying ; and that his confirmed habits 
were those of a reader and writer. From these later usages, we 
may infer his earlier ; and may presume that he would have studied 
more effectively at Great Harrington, if he had spent more time 
than he did spend among his apple-trees. Nothing would have 
sooner cured him from complaining of his discourses as " sense- 
less," than the performance of a daily work on his " thirty or forty 

The common impression is, that the studies of Hopkins were 
chiefly metaphysical. What if they were 1 They were not entirely 
so. He was a diligent reader of commentaries, particularly of Poole's 
Synopsis. He read through the whole of Poole's five folios in Latin. 
He commented three several times on every chapter of the Bible 
in his expository discourses ; and this extensive exposition required 
of him, what he pursued, a diligent perusal of the critics. He had 
not been ordained much more than two years, before he, with Rev. 
Mr. Hubbard, of Sheflield, and Rev. Mr. Sergeant, of Stockbridge, 
formed a plan for each to study and comment upon the Epistle to 
the Galatians, and to present his Commentary to the other two for 
criticism. Mr. Hopkins's Exposition is still preserved, with Mr. 
Sergeant's Review of it. Among the authors which are most famil- 
iarly mentioned by him, are Calvin and Van Mastricht, (both of 
whom he studied in their original Latin,) Saurin, Owen, Manton, 
Goodwin, Bates, Baxter, Charnock, Prideaux, Sharp, Matthew 
Henry, John Locke, Whitby, Dr. S. Clark, Dr. John Taylor, Mos- 
heim, Doddridge, etc., etc. Nothing, then, can be more inaccu- 
rate, than to affirm that he restricted himself to metaphysics. Few, 
if any, clergymen of his day were so conversant with the various 
criticisms upon the sacred text. Upon that text he aimed to form 
his theological system. He once remarked to Dr. Tenney,* " that 
there was not a passage in all the Scriptures which had not been 
the subject of his particular meditation ; nor one, the meaning of 
which he had not endeavored, by his own reflections and the aid of 
commentators, to understand." 

* See Ferguson's Memoir of Hopkins, p. 146. 

54 memoir- 


In less than a year after his ordination, Hopkins began to be 
severely afflicted. He writes : 

"Waterbury, December 5, 1744. Received news this morning that my 
mother lay at tlie point of death yesterday morning. Set out towards noon, 
and got to Waterbury about bed-time, where I received the sorrowful news of 
Miy mother's death. Came to my father's house ; — find it in mournful cir- 
cumstances ; — no mother to welcome me home, as she was wont to do. — De- 
cember 5. This day my dear mother departed tliis life, about one o'clock in 
the afternoon ; by whose death God has touched me in the most tender place. 
She was, in many respects, nearer and dearer to me than any other relation, 
and was one that had the most tender and affectionate love for me, which she 
abundantly expressed by words and actions. My natural affection now shows 
itself; and though I am sensible of no murmurings, yet I can't but mourn. 
Some time ago, I was especially concerned for my mother, and my thoughts 
ran particularly upon her, which was the occasion of my writing the following 
letter to her, which she received about three weeks before her deatli : 

" ' Kind Mother : I take tliis opportunity to express my gratitude and 

thankfulness for all your care for and kindness to me, which is very great, 
which I hope I am in some measure sensible of, and never shall forget it ; yet 
J know I am in a great degree unthankful, and have reason to be ashamed of 
my misiraprovcment of what I have received of my parents. I desire to see 
the hand of God in it, and hope that it is both for your advantage and mine, 
that your hearts have been thus opened to me, and that God will reward you 
for your trouble and expense of temporal or carnal things, by bestowing upon 
you spiritual and saving blessings, whicli are infinitely better ; and that your 
end in it, so far as it has been good, will be answered by my being made a 
great blessing in my station and calling, for which I desire the continuance 
of your prayers. — I am engaged in a difficult work, and how difficult it is you 
never will know, because it can be known only by experience. My business 
is with the souls of men, and therefore I am called to unwearied diligence, 
and my time seems more precious than theirs who labor for this world's goods. 
— I wish I might say something, before I end this letter, that might tend to 
your spiritual edification. O, think of eternity. It is just at hand. We shall 
shortly be in it. I cannot bear to think of parting with you forever ; but it 
must be, unless we are both truly religious. The things of religion are as 
real and certain as they were two or three years ago, though, alas ! the land 
is asleep. I am, dear mother, your obliged, dutiful son, Sam'l Hopkins. 

" ' Sheffield, October 23, 1744.' 

"Methinks the hand of God is to be seen in this thing, in that I should send 
her a letter at this time, though I never sent one particularly to her before. 1 
desire to bo thankful that I was then led to express my tliankfulness to her, 
seeing I had no opportunity to do it face to face. 

" December G. Attended the funeral of my deceased mother. Doubtless we 
had many to mourn with us. O that I might mourn aright, and suitably im- 
prove God's dealings towards me and my father's family ! — Attended a lecture 
after the funeral. Mr. Levinwortli preached upon the great duty of resigna- 
tion to God's will, from those words, 2 Kings iv. 26. — Returned home to niy 
father's house, and find it as it were empty. — Sunday, December 9. Was 
called up this morning with news tliat my young brother was dying. I got 
up, prayed with it, and baptized it. After that, it had some revival. I left it 
and went to meeting ; — received the sacrament, and preached in the afternoon 
from Psalm xxxLx. 4. Had no great sense of things, though some freedom in 
preaching. Came home and found my brother dead, and my brother's wife, 
to all appearance, taken just as my mother was before she died. O that God 
would sanctify his dealings to this family ! Surely he is frowning upon us. 


" Monday, December 10. Attended the funeral of my young brother. He 
was about three weeks old when he died. Alas ! I am a stupid, senseless 

Mr. Hopkins preached more than four years at Great Barrington, 
previously to his marriage. A matrimonial engagement, which he 
had formed at Northampton, was broken off" in a way honorable, 
but afflictive to liimself. Another, which he formed at Great Bar- 
rington, was equally inauspicious. " He paid his addresses," says 
Dr. Patten,* " to a young woman interesting in her appearance and 
manners, and of a bright intellect, who was also rather a belle in the 
place. She favored his suit, and, so far as appeared, there was a 
mutual attachment, and the time of their marriage was not far dis- 
tant. But a former lover, who had been absent some tiijie, returned, 
witli the design of renewing his attentions, and, by indirect or ex- 
phcit manifestations of it, excited in her the expectation of an offer 
to be his wife. These intimations engaged her affection, and when 
he made known to her his disappointment and his desire, she frankly 
disclosed the truth to Mr. Hopkins, and assured him, ' that however 
much she respected and esteemed him, she could not fulfil her engage- 
ment to him from the heart.' This, he said, was a trial, a very great 
trial ; but, as she had not designed to deceive him in the encourage- 
ments she had given him, he could part with her in friendship." 

At length, on .Tanuary 13, 1748, he was married to Miss Joanna 
Ingersol, daughter of Moses Ingcrsol, of Great Barrington. Dr. Pat- 
ten says of her, f " She was delicate in her person and features, of 
a sprightly disposition, intelligent, possessing great decision of char- 
acter, and apparently a Christian." Her constitutional tendencies 
were consumptive. During the last twenty years of her married 
life, she was an intense sufferer. About the year 1786, her physical 
pains were so great as to occasion a temporary insanity. lu less 
than a year, she recovered the tone of her mind, but still her dis- 
tressing Inaladics remained a source of deep grief to her husband. 
The evenness, jjatience, and unwavering benevolence of his temper 
were a great solace to her amid her afflictions. He " never retired 
to study," says Dr. Patten, J "or indulged in rest," till he had made 
every provision for her comfort which kindness could suggest." 

In one year from his marriage, he was again bereaved. He writes : 

" February 4, 1749. Reached my father's house late in the night. Find 
my father very sick, and two brothers and two sisters, with the measles. My 
father knew me, and asked me why I was so long in coming; told me he 
sent for me that I might see him once more before he died, [and] asked me if 
I did not think he was dying. I told liim no. I asked him if he was willing 
to die. His answer was such as gave me great concern for him. I was 
quickly willing to part with him, if he might but give me evidence of his com- 
fortable hope in Christ, before he died ; but was soon brought to give up tliis 

• Reminiscences, pp. 31, 32. f lb. p. 23. i lb. p. 113. 



point, if he might but have a saving interest in Christ, and the comfort of it 
in his own soul, which my soul longed for ; and I was enabled to seek God 
earnestly on his behalf, having my mouth filled with arguments ; and after 
all, was obliged to resign, and acknowledge God to be the sovereign potter, 
having a right to do what he would, and that he could do no wrong. 

" February 5. We apprehend my father is dying. I made two prayers 
with him. lie, having been some time before speechless, revived a little, and 
said he had more hope noiv, referring to tlie discourse I had with him before. 
These were almost the last words which he spake, and the most comfortable. 
T had some views of the infinity of God's mercy, and expressed it in prayer, 
and hope his soul felt it." 

The mother of Hopkins died at the age of about forty-three years ; 
the father, at the age of fifty-seven. Samuel was the executor of 
his fatlier's will. Ultimately, the education of his three youngest 
brothers was devolved upon himself. He took them to his house, 
and fitted them all to enter college. In so doing, he performed a 
good service to the State. His brother James was admitted to Yale 
College in 1753, when he was twenty-one years old. In less than a 
twelvemonth, however, he died at New Haven. Samuel hastened 
to his death-bed, grieved, but submissive. 

Daniel, the next brother, educated by Samuel, entered Yale Col- 
lege in 1754, and was graduated in 1758. He interested himself in 
the early struggles of his country for independence, and is said to 
have received some peculiar marks of confidence from General 
Washington. He was a member of the Colonial Congress, and in 
that capacity signed large quantities of the Continental paper money. 
One who knew him well says : 

" He was ordained pastor of the Third Congregational Church at Salem, 
Massachusetts, in the year 1778,* and he remained over the same church 
until the day of his death, in December, 1814. He was a discriminating, 
faithful, and interesting preacher, a devoted and excellent pastor, and he 
enjoyed, in a high degree, the atfection of his people, and the respect of 
the community. His theological opinions agreed with those of his brother 
Samuel, except on the subject of submission ; and there he differed chiefly, if 
not wholly, on the mode in Avhich his brother explained it. He entered deeply 
into the theological speculations of his brother, and was acknowledged by that 
divine to have originally suggested his argument on the Doings of the Unre- 
generate. Mr. John Norris, the benefactor of Andover Theological Seminary, 
was, with his wife, during many years, a member of Dr. Daniel Hopkins's 
congregation, and they were strongly attached to him until the day of their 
death.f Mr. Norris was also very strongly attached to the theological system 
of Dr. Samuel Hopkins, and testified his respect to him by giving to one of 
his [Dr. H.'s] granddaughters a permanent home in his [Mr. N.'s] own fam- 
ily." Other intimate friends of Mr. Norris say that he " became acquainted 
with Dr. Samuel Hopkins during the frequent visits of the latter to Salem, 
and often made him valuable presents." An inmate of his family writes that 
Mr. Norris " often conversed on the Hopkinsian doctrines, and seemed to take 
great pleasure in the thought that they were to be taught at Andover." 

* He is said to have been introduced to that church by his brother Samuel, who had 
preached a number of weeks at Salem, in 1766 and 1767. 

t Mr. Norris died December 22, 1808, aged fifty-seven years. Mrs. Norris died 
Uareh 21, 1811, aged fifty-four years. 


But the subject of this Memoir expended his greatest care upon 
Mark, his younger brother. When Mark was in his tenth year, he 
became a member of Samuel's family, and continued such about five 
years, until he entered college. He was a classmate at Yale with 
his brother Daniel, and with Silas Deane. He commenced the 
practice of law about 17G1, at Great Barrington, and resided 
about ten years a near neighbor of Samuel, who had trained him 
for usefulness. He was eminent in his profession. He instructed 
mauy law students, and among tiiem the celebrated .Tudge Theodore 
Sedgwick. In 17G5, he married Electa Sergeant, a daughter of the 
well-kno«ni Stockbridge missionary. He left four sons and one 
daughter. Archibald, his oldest son, was the father of President 
Mark Hopkins, and Professoi: Albert Hopkins, of Williams College. 
In th.e revolutionary war. Colonel Mark Hopkins distinguished him- 
self as a patriot. He entered the army ; was taken sick witii a 
fever at White Plains, and died there, October 26, 177G, only two 
days before the memorable battle at that place. He was thirty- 
seven years of age at the time of his death. 

Dr. Hopkins also educated for practical life two of his brothers- 
in-law. He had five sons and three daughters, all born in Great 
Barrington. He was reserved before his children, methodical and 
strict in his discipline, yet remarkably free from a morose and irri- 
tating treatment of them. His attachment to them and to his grand- 
cliildren was deep, and they all felt an unbounded reverence for 
him. As a father, he belonged to the old school. A single inci- 
dent, narrated by one * who lived, for a time, in the family of Mr. 
Hopkins, will let us into the general course of things in the parson- 
age of Great Barrington. " In iiis strict attention to the Sabbath, 
he [Mr. H.] excelled the most of devout Christians. From evening 
to evening he celebrated the Christian Sabbath ; and to impress his 
own mind and the mind of his family with the imjiortance of ob- 
serving holy time, he uniformly, at sunset, introduced and concluded 
the exercises of the Sabbath by family prayer. This domestic signal 
of holy time, he found, by long experience, to be attended with 
peculiar advantage." 

His eldest daughter, Elizabeth, received much of her education 
in Boston. Slie was an accomplished lady, and an engaging Chris- 
tian. She married Dr. .Tohn Sibley, a man of wealth, of eminence 
in his profession, and of extensive usefulness. In his early life, he 
was a surgeon of the revolutionary army, and distinguished himself 
by his patriotic spirit. After the close of the war, he removed to 
Fayetteville, North Carolina, at which place Mrs. Sibley died, Oc- 
tober 25, 1790, leaving two sons. Of late years, their descendants 
have resided chiefly in Missouri and Louisiana. Several members 

• Dr. Samuel Spring. See MassachuscUs Missionary Magazine, vol. i. p. 3G3. 


of their family belong to the United States army, and have been 
recently brevetted for their achievements in our late Mexican vrar. 
His second daughter, Mrs. Joanna Fisher, of Medway, Massachu- 
setts, died June 15, 1786. Her father says of her : She was " a 
peculiarly dear and amiable child," and appeared to be " graciously 
prepared for heaven." She left one daughter, who subsequently 
resided with Dr. Hopkins. — His third daughter, Rhoda, wife of the 
excellent Captain John Anthony, of Newport, was also an exem- 
plary Christian. She lived in the house with her father, relieving 
him throughout the prolonged sickness of her mother, but, deeply to 
his grief, died, September 22, 1792, in her twenty-seventh year. She 
left one child. 

His oldest son, General David Hopkins, was a man of large prop- 
erty and influence, near Baltimore, in Maryland, where he died, leav- 
ing several children. — Dr. Hopkins's second son, Moses, was a highly 
respected magistrate and yeoman, in Great Barrington, Massachu- 
setts. He was eminent for his strength of mind and his sterling vir- 
tue. He had nine children, and many of his descendants are now 
useful members of society. Having been county register more than 
fifty years, he died at the age of eighty-four. — Dr. Hopkins's third 
son, Levi, was a member of Princeton College two years or more, 
but was compelled to leave, through ill health. He subsequently lived 
and died in Virginia. He left six children. — Dr. Hopkins's fourth 
son, Samuel, resided on the homestead at Great Barrington, was a 
thriving farmer, and left three children. — The fifth son, Daniel, died 
in Maryland, in 1788, at the age of twenty-four. — The personal ap- 
pearance of these eight children is said to have indicated a strong and 
decided character. They were all well instructed. Some of them 
inherited the frail constitution of their mother. 


In the preceding section has, been disclosed the formative power 
exerted by Hopkins on several noted individuals related to him by 
blood. He was a still more conspicuous benefactor to the world, in 
moulding the character of a few other individuals, related to him by 
a spiritual affinity. 

The first of these is Rev. Dr. Jonathan Edwards, President of 
Union College, Schenectady, N. Y., a divine who will be honored 
in succeeding ages, for having given so much of its present excel- 
lence to the New England theology. It has been said that he, more 
than Dr. Hopkins himself, was the father of the Hopkinsian sys- 
tem. He was certainly not so in all respects. Nearly all of the 
following narrative is from Dr. Patten : * 

» Reminiscences, pp. 45-47. See also Ferguson's Life of Hopkins, pp. 53, 54. 
The same relation, for substance, has been given by various other persons acquainted 
with Drs. Edwards and Hopkins. 


" When Edwards was in his twenty-first year, and had been graduated at 
Princeton College, ' he had not examined the theological system adopted by 
his father, but objected strenuously, and with much confidence, to some of its 
leading doctrines. Mr. Hopkins, from regard to his [Edwards's] father, and 
concern, as well as affection, for the son, invited him to make his house his 
home for the winter, offering him a room with a fire, and every facility that he 
could give him in the pursuit of his studies ; and, as a particular motive, men- 
tioned that he had the manuscripts of his father, which he would have oppor- 
tunity to peruse. 

"Young Mr. E., without much persuasion, accepted the offer. He was 
amiable in his temper, but prompt and self-opinionated. Mr. H. soon put into 
his hands a manuscript of his father's, maintaining a doctrine which he had 
controverted. When he had read it, he brought forward objections which he 
appeared to think conclusive. But Mr. H. attempted to correct his misappre- 
hensions, and to explain and strengthen, by additional proof, the arguments 
of his father. Young Mr. E. was not convinced, though his zeal was in some 
measure abated. He retired for reflection and the adjustment of his ideas, 
expecting to bring new force in the morning. But in the next conversation 
he became more embarrassed, and found that the subject required a deeper 
investigation than he had ever paid to it. Under a conviction of his con- 
science, he became docile as a child, and made rapid proficiency in that be- 
lief in doctrines for which he could give a reason." " He ever retained a 
filial respect and affection for Mr. Hopkins, and contributed to his support 
when he feared he might be in want, and Mr. H. felt a kind of pride in him 
as a son. In the hearing of the writer, when some one was highly praising 
Dr. E., Mr. H. said, ' Me make him,' alluding to an aged Indian minister, who 
used this expression on hearing a young Indian preaclier commended, who 
Avas very popular, and who had been brought up under his instruction." * 

The second individual on whom Hopkins exerted a formative in- 
fluence, and through whom lie has made a deep impress on tlie pub- 
lic, is Rev. Dr. Stephen West, the successor of President Edwards 
at Stockbridge. He was ordained on the 13th day of June, 1759, 
and " has been heard to acknowledge, that for eight years he at- 
tempted to preach a Saviour whom he knew not." t He was a 
decided opposer of the doctrines wliich President Edwards had 

* " Dr. Edwards was graduated in September, 17C5, and after a very short visit at 
Stockbridge, went the same autumn to Dr. Hopkins's, at Great Barringlon, and re- 
mained there through the winter, till tlie ne.\t July ; and then went to Dr. Bellamy, 
with whom he remained till October of the same year, when he was licensed bv the 
Litchfield Association." So writes Bellamy's biographer, who has also communi- 
cated the following letter of introduction, sent by Hopkins to Bellamy, at the time of 
young Edwards's going to complete his studies at Belhlem : " July 7, 17G6. Sir 
Edwards [this was the usual designation of the young men studying with Dr. Bel- 
lamy and Dr. Hopkins] will, I hope, get a great deal of good at your house. He 
will take it kindly if you converse with him particularly about his personal religion, 
and act the part of a father to him, in freely giving him your best counsel and advice. 
He is, I think, an honest, conscientious lad, and in consequence of my kind irealmenl 
of him, he trusts in me as a father. He has a high taste for good speaking, and will 
be of service to your pupils with respect to this, if you promote the matter. I would 
humbly propose that every day, or frequently, at least, some time should be spent in 
pronouncing, by reading some book, or their own composition ; and let them correct 
each other, or stand corrected by you.'' When Samuel Hopkins requests Joseph Bel- 
lamy to discipline Jonathan Edwards in elocution, our young ministers may well begiu 
to discipline themselves. 

t Dr. Alvan Hyde's Sketches of the Life, Ministry, and Writings of Rev. Stephen 
West, D. D., p. 9. 


advocated ; but being inquisitive, critical, studious, he cultivated an 
intimacy, and sought frequent opportunities for discussion with Hop- 
kins, his clerical neighbor. He first studied the subjects on which he 
intended to converse, and then visited that neighbor, M'ith a fond 
expectation of subduing him in the argument. Day after day, how- 
ever, he rode back discomfited. Still, day after day, he renewed 
his onset ; until, at length, Hopkins made one of his strong appeals 
to the moral sensibility of West. The ai)]*al was decisive. " Con- 
victed in conscience that he stood as a Wind leader of the blind, 
he [West] was brought to a solemn jjause. His solicitude Mas 
great, and his compunctions for sin were powerful and indescriba- 
ble." * Soon, however, he began to see the consistency of 
doctrines which he had previously imagined to be irreconcilable. 
He rejoiced in the truth. He changed his style of discourse. A 
revival of religion followed the change. During his subsequent min- 
istry, his preaching was attended with five other revivals. He 
admitted to his church five hundred and four aj^parent Christians, 
retained for fifty-nine years the pastoral care of an intelligent people, 
wrote more than three thousand sermons, published nineteen books, 
and instructed many students in theology. President Kirkland, 
Dr. Hyde, Dr. Catlin, and Di-. Samuel Spring, were his theological 
pupils. He was a Coryphaeus of Hoj)kinsianism. As the pastor of 
Great Barrington exerted a controlling influence over Dr. West, so 
West had great pow er over Samuel Spring ; and this is the divine 
who accomplished more than any one man for the eslablishment of 
Andover Theological Seminary. 

Dr. Spring, however, pursued his theological studies not altogether 
with Dr. West, but partly also with Dr. Hopkins himself; and, accord- 
ing to one account, with Dr. Bellamy and Dr. AVitherspoon likewise. 
He was a profi)und admirer of Hopkins, paid frequent and reveren- 
tial visits to him as long as he lived, was related to him by marriage, 
and received from him in personal intercourse, as well as through 
the n^ednun of Dr. West, that influence which he intended to trans- 
fuse, as far as the moderate Calvinists who formed a " union " with 
him would allow, into his cherished seminary. Here is another 
point of indirect communication between Hopkins and a seminary 
which began its existence nearly .'ive years after his death.t 

A third individual, over whom the minister of Great Barrington 
exercised a decisive influence, was R«iv. David Sanford, of Medway, 
Massachusetts. This gentleman " had at an early age received a 

* Dr. Hyde's Sketches of the Life, Ministry, dticl M''ii;ngs of Dr. West, pp. 7, 8. 

t Dr. Fallen gives an account of Hopkins's agency in transforming the life of West ; 
but the fullest account is given in Ferguson's Memoir of Hopkins, pp. 46-52. See 
also the Sketches of the Life, Ministry, and Writings of Dr. West, by Rev. Dr. Alvan 
Hyde, of Lee, Massachusetts. When it is said that West and Spring were Hopkin- 
sians, it is meant that they were Hopkinsians of the Emmons type. 


liberal education. The intention of his parents was, to prepare him 
for the ministry ; but being destitute of rehgion when he arrived at 
manhood, his attention was directed to agriculture. As a farmer, he 
was located in the town of which Mr. Hopkins was the minister. 
They married sisters. But although thus nearly related, Mr. San- 
ford was a bitter opposer of the religion and preaching of his brother 
Hopkins. To him the preaching of Mr. Hopkins appeared con- 
temptible and foolish ; and on this ground he justified himself in 
giving only an occasional attendance on his ministry. But although 
he thus sought to justify his neglect of the instituted means of 
grace, his conscience was by no means easy. As an evidence of his 
state of mind at this time, and the rankling opposition of his heart, 
lie afterwards mentioned, that while at work on his farm, on removing 
a log whicli had become imbedded in the ground, his attention was 
directed to a number of [interesting] and to him uncommon animal- 
cules. After observing them for a moment, he thus expressed the 
rankling feelings of his heart : ' Hopkins says that nothing was 
made in vain, and for ^vhat were you made 1 ' At the same moment 
crushing them beneath his feet, he continued, ' There, that is what 
you were made for.' ' Yes,' said a voice within, which spoke the 
language of conscience, ' they were made to show forth the enmity 
of your heart against God.' "* 

In this state of hostility to his pastor's theological opinions, it be- 
came necessary for him to have frequent interviews with Mr. Hop- 
kins, in reference to some property which was to be divided between 
their respective wives. Mr. Sanford was determined to irritate, if 
possible, the minister who was so much noted for his equable temper. 
He longed for one victory over that Christian patience. Aiming at 
this result, he proposed such a division of the property as was glar- 
ingly unjust to Mrs. Hopkins, and he accompanied his proposal with 
biting raillery and sarcasm. He succeeded in his plot. Hopkins 
was excited, and, late in the evening, left his brother's house in an- 
ger. But he was unused to such invitation. He soon becajne 
ashamed of it. He could not sleep at all during the night. The 
next morning was very cold, but at an early hour Mr. Sanford looked 
out of his chamber window, and saw the injured man approacliing. 
On entering the house, Mr. Hopkins requested that the family might 
be called together ; and when all were convened, he acknowledged 
his resentful words during the last evening's interview, implored for- 
giveness for them, and consented to any reasonable division of the 
property which his brother might propose. Mr. Sanford was over- 
whelmed. He kne\v that he had inveigled the unsuspecting Christian 

* Ferguson's Memoir of Hopkins, p. 41, seq. The remainder of the narrative is taken 
from Ferguson, Patten's Reminisceiioes, pp. 50-63, and from the private correspond- 
ence of several gentlemen who were familiar with the scene. In suBstance, all the nar- 
ratives agree, but difTcr somewhat in form. 




into . the resentment of the last evening ; he knew that he had 
given him reason to be indignant ; and, ahliough he had felt a trans- 
gressor's triumph during the night, he was now assured, by this hum- 
ble confession, that a pious heart is nobler than worldly tact. He 
never forgot that morning's visit. He spoke of it till his dying day. 
Under the influence of it, he became a man of God. His father, 
(who was a friend of David Brainerd, and named this son in honor 
of that pious missionary,) had originally designed him for the sacred 
office, and had once sent him to pursue his theological course with 
Dr. Bellamy. The son, however, then felt his unfitness for the work, 
and soon relinquished the preparative study. But now he recom- 
menced the delightful preparation. For thirty-seven years he satis- 
fied and delighted one of the largest churches in Massachusetts. 
He became a theological author and teacher. He was honored as 
an instrument of many religious revivals. He has now several de- 
scendants in the ministry. He was an intimate friend of Samuel 
Spring and Nathanael Emmons. The latter divine, unused to ex- 
travagant praise, says of him : * 

" The Author of nature endowed Mr. Sanford with a ricli variety of rare 
and superior talents. He possessed a quick apprehension, a clear and sound 
judgment, a lively imagination, and an uncommon knowledge of human na- 
ture. These intellectual powers, sanctified by divine grace, fitted him to 
shine with peculiar lustre in every branch of his ndnisterial office. But per- 
haps he appeared to the best advantage as a speaker, for which his body, as 
well as his mind, was peculiarly formed. He had a piercing eye, a significant 
countenance, a majestic appearance, and a strong, clear, melodious voice, 
which he was able to modulate with ease and propriety. I know no man, of 
any profession, in the circle of my acquaintance, who surpassed him in natu- 
ral eloquence. He was able to move any passion which he wished to move, 
whether love or hatred, hope or fear, joy or sorrow. He knew every avenue 
to the human heart, and could make the deepest impressions upon it." 

It was often said, that if Hopkins had possessed the oratorical 
gifts of his brother-in-law, he would have been another Whitefield. 
But although destitute of Whitefield's power, Hopkins would have 
been a benefactor to his race, if he had done no more for them than 
that which he did through the medium of the eminent divines just 
named. How few have accomplished more than the younger Ed- 
wards in exhibiting the truths of the Bible, free from the admix- 
tures of a false and bewildering metaphysics. 

One secret of the power which the subject of this Memoir wield- , 
ed over his theological adversaries, lay in his general seJ[f-jjQsse§sion. '^ 
When past the age of fourscore years, he confessed to his friend 
Dr. C. J. Tenney, that in his early life he had found it difficult to 

* See Emmons's Works, vol. i. p. 341. A Discourse at the Funeral of Rev. David 
Sanford, A. M., Medwaj-, who died April 7, 1810, aged 73. See also Dr. Emmons's 
Discourse at the Funeral of Mrs. Bathsheba Sanford, wife of Rev. D. Sanford, and 
sister of Mrs. Dr. Hopkins ; Works, vol. iii. pp. 9-18. 


preserve aa even temper ; but lie added : " For more tlian thirty 
years [referring to his interview with Mr. Sanford], I have not felt 
an angry emotion, nor do I think it probable that I shall ever feel 
another." It was this command over himself which gave him his 
command over others. His equanimity qualified him for successful 
debate. He was wont to hear his opponents patiently^ and when 
they had stated all their objections without being interrupted by 
him, he would make his calm, but sometimes pithy reply. Dr. 
West, who knew, for he had keenly felt, the power of Hopkins's 
logic, makes the following ingenuous, and, in itself, very probable 
statement : * 

" Honored as I was with his friendship, I may be liable to prejudice ; but, 
on long and intimate acquaintance, it has appeared to me that he possessed a 
candor of mind which is rarely to be found. Men of the first abilities and 
acquirements, like others, are apt to be tenacious of opinions they have once 
imbibed. Having formed them, as they apprehend, on mature thought and 
deliberation, they soon become possessed of a prejudice unfavorable to light 
and evidence which might correct them. Rare it was, that any one was ca- 
pable of detecting an error in the sentiments of Dr. Hopkins on moral and 
religious subjects. But he was remarkably open to conviction, whenever evi- 
dence was exhibited of the incorrectness of any of his opinions. Truth 
appeared to be so much the object of his search, that he discovered an unu- 
sual readiness to admit it, from whatever quarter it came ; and that even 
though he might find error in himself detected by it. Did wo all search the 
Scriptures without any prepossession or prejudice, we should undoubtedly im- 
bibe truth without error. As might be expected with such candor of mind, 
his manner, in verbal dispute, was unusually mild, fair, and moderate. Far 
from being overbearing, he ever gave every just advantage to his opponent, 
patiently hearing whatever he advanced in favor of his opinions, and giving 
him full opportunity to vindicate them by every argument he thought favor- 
able. And as the Doctor had a happy talent of expressing his own arguments 
with peculiar perspicuity, by these means he often convinced and gained over 
his opposers ; Avhen, had his manner been austere and overbearing, however 
conclusive his arguments, the opposite party would have remained uncon- 
vinced, and received no benefit. He had a mind peculiarly formed for friend- 
ship, and appeared to be indeed the fiiithful friend. No one entered into 
greater nearness and intimacy of Christian friendship, or gave, or seemed to 
enjoy, greater pleasure in the society and friendship of Christians. And his 
unaffected ease and openness, together with the instructiveness of his con- 
versation, were such as made his company greatly sought, and his friendship 
highly valued, by the lovers of religion and truth." 

It was in view of such facts as those above recited, that Hopkins 
closed his Autobiography in 1796, with the words of joy : 

" I have particular reason to be thankful and rejoice that I have been the 
moans of the conversion of more than one who are now in the ministry, (which 
they themselves think is a fact,) and of enlightening and removing the preju- 
dices of others, who were before in a great measure blind to those truths 
which they now see to be evident and important. May I not rejoice in this ? 
And may I not hope ' to rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in 
vain, neither labored in vain ? ' May God have all the glory. Amen." f 

* West's Sketches, etc. pp. xii.-xiv. t lb. pp. 103, 104. 


The influence of Dr. Hopkins on public men has been, of itself, 
enough to call forth the gratitude of posterity. Many of the most 
prominent individuals in the early benevolent operations of this 
century were his pupils or disciples. For instance, on the 28th 
of May, 1799, thirty-eight men formed the Massachusetts Mission- 
ary Society, of whom the greater part were firm Hopkinsians, 
and the first two names subscribed to the constitution of that 
society, Avere David Sanford and Daniel Hopkins. Dr. Emmons 
was the first, and Dr. Daniel Hopkins was the second president ; 
Dr. Austin was the first secretary of the society. Dr. Emmons 
was the first preacher before it. Mr. Sanford and Dr. Daniel Hop- 
kins were the first two on the list of trustees. Dr. Emmons, Mr. 
Sanford, Dr. Daniel Hopkins, and Dr. Spring were the first four on 
the editorial list of the Massachusetts Missionary Magazine, a period- 
ical projected by the society in 1802, and in 1808 united with the 
Panoplist, and in 1817 merged into the Missionary Herald. The 
object of this society was, "to diffuse the knowledge of the gospel 
among the heathens, as well as other people in the remote parts of 
our country, where Christ is seldom or never preached." Dr. 
Samuel Hopkins evinced the liveliest interest in it. His missionary 
spirit animated his disciples. He manifested this spirit in his inter- 
course with them, and in his public addresses : see particularly his 
"Farewell to the World."* 


A parish minister is a city set on a hill. His light radiates over 
the surrounding vales. While Mr. Hopkins resided in Great Bar- 
rington, he gave a decided impulse to the formation of every Con- 
gregational church, beginning its existence at that period and in that 
neighborhood. For a quarter of a century, he did more than all 
others in establishing the new churches on the right basis, with 
regard to the Half Way Covenant.t In this particular he " fought 
a good fight " for modern Christians, some of whom, forgetting the 
conqueror, rejoice in the victory. He was regarded as a champion 
for the unpopular doctrine, that persons exhibiting no evidence of a 
renewed heart should not be admitted to the Lord's supper, and 
that persons not coming to the Lord's supper should not oflTer their 
children for baptism.f Having been urged by some of his friends 

* It maj' here be mentioned, by the way, that the American Doctrinal Tract Society, 
which now pubhshes Dr. Hopkins's works, was at first formed exckisively by Hopkinsian 

t Testimony of Rev. Samuel Shcpard, D. D., of Lenox, Massachusetts. 

t Many clerg^yman, on ordaining councils, opposed the ordination of any candidate 
who adopted the Edwardean theory on this subject. Mr. Hopkins was often summoned 
to contend against them, in behalf of religious liberty. He sometimes came as near 


in New Jersey to discourse on this subject in that colony, he writes, 
December 21, 1764 : 

" I am not clear that it is worth while or prudent to raise all that fire which 
will unavoidably be kindled up in the Jersey, for many miles round, both 
among ministers and people, if I should go and declare and inculcate my sen- 
timents, in the present situation of affairs. Is it not a pity to break in upon 
that peace and harmony they now enjoy ? I am sure, if it may and ought to 
be done, it is an ungrateful task. I should be stigmatized through all that 
world, as a stiff, rigid, imprudent mischief-maker ; and all the ministers would 
sincerely wish me back to New England, if not to the moon. And what good 
would be done ? The maxim our Saviour acted upon, (John xvi. 12,) is per- 
haps applicable to this case." 

It is obvious, from his correspondence, that lie was often con- 
sulted by clergymen in New Jersey with regard to their theological 
interests ; and the following letter to Bellamy shows how impor- 
tant his services were regarded by some friends of the college at 
Princeton : 

" Great Barrington, March 25, 1707. I have a number of letters to you 
from Jersey, which were brought by Mr. Timothy Edwards, [eldest son of the 
President,] last week. I don't send them with tliis, because I have no direct 
and safe opportunity, and because I expect to come myself and see you, the 
second Monday in April, (if God will.) I have letters from Messrs. Caldwell, 
McWhorter, Chapman, and Jonathan Edwards, importing that they, with a 
number of others, are now in high zeal about a professor of divinity at the 

college ; that Mr. is not chosen, nor generally esteemed fit for that 

place ; that no way is yet provided for the support of one ; that if they don't 
get one, and one of the right sort too, and equal to the business, the college 
will die a natural death ; that some of the trustees of principal influence have 
been consulted, and they manifest an approbation of one of your friends in 
New England, from what they have heard of him, and encourage that he 
shall be undoubtedly chosen, if a support for him can be provided by sub- 
scription ; that a larger subscription can be procured for him, than for any 
other. Therefore they have sent to him, to know if he will accept, if chosen, 
and to desire him not to put himself under any engagements inconsistent with 
this, till they can make a fair trial, which cannot be completed till next fall ; 
to effect which, they now intend to pull every string and turn every stone ; 
the subscription to be but for five or seven years at first, concluding that 
another can more easily be filled up, if needed, when that term expires, than 
a longer one can be procured now. They want to know whether 'tis probable 
any subscriptions for this design can be procured in New England, especially 
at Boston. And [they] want your judgment, advice, and assistance in the 
affair. They have engaged the messenger to treat with your friend more 

as a man of his habitual tranquillity need come, to a loss of his patience with these men. 
One of the most impetuous sentences in his correspondence is the following' : " July 8, 
175G. I value a correspondence and intercourse with you, by writing and conversation, 
more than ever ; as I have lately had an uncomfortable interview with three neighbor- 
ing, senseless, stupid, wilful, ignorant, blind, illiterate, thoughtless, confident, suspicious, 

disdainful, (forgive me, dear sir; I have a great sense of it.) — He that says, ' 1 

see,' and yet is blind, has no sort of notion about seeing, and knows not what it means. 
How great and immovable is that blindness ! I pray God to deliver me from such 
blindness and infatuation.! I had need to look to myself, for I am charged with having 

no thoughts of my own, being wholly ; with contradicting myself; with being so 

dark and confused as that I neither know myself, nor can any one else know what I 
mean or aim at, &c., &c." 


particularly on the affair, than they could ^vrite ; have [written] you on the 
head, I suppose, and tried to engage the messenger to go to you on his 
return ; but he says he can't. Edwards writes, that all the officers at college 
are warmly engaged in the affiiir, &c. They are so sanguine, as to think the 
fall of the college and of the religious interest of all those provinces turns 
upon this affair. I write these liints, that your thoughts may perhaps be more 
ripe upon the head when I shall see- you, which I hope will be in less than 
three weeks from this time. 'Tis thought tliat tlie proposed coalescence 
(perhaps it might be more properly called a collision) of tlie Old side and 
New, with respect to the college, must and will take place. And I think, if 
Dr. Witherspoon don't come, (and the Old side will hinder it if they can,) 

Dr. will be President, and that this is what they are, at boUom, 

driving t^t. But this is conjecture." * 

Tlie name of the individual who was thus proposed for the Pro- 
fessorship of Divinity at Princeton may be easily conjectured. This 
proposal casts some light upon the statement of Dr. Patten, that after 
President Edwai'ds's death, in 1758, Mr. Hopkins was named by some 
as the successor to the Presidency. 

" But before the proposition was laid before the Board of Trustees, one of 
the members was requested to visit Mr. IL, that by actual observation he 
might form an opinion of his qualifications for the office and station. Mr. H. 
had not the least apprehension of the object of the gentleman in making him 
a visit ; but received him with great courtesy, and entertained him with liberal 
hospitality, not only according to his custom, but as he considered due to a 
gentleman of his standing, and a friend of Mr. E. This gentleman, on his 
return, reported unfavorably to the appointment, and assigned, as a reason, the 
country style in which Mr. H. lived, aiid the correspondence of his manners 
to such a state." f 

For this statement, tliere is now, perhaps, no other authority than 
that of Dr. Patten ; yet the assertion that Hopkins was a candidate 
for the vacant Presidency ni.iy seem not improbable, from the fact 
that some of the most active men in foundinj^ and sustaining tl\e 
college at New Jersey (as, for instance, Hon. W. P. Smith and 
Rev. T. Arthur,) were the associates of Hopkins at Yale ; and Gov- 
ernor William Livingston, one of its firm friends, was his classmate. 
The gentleman first appointed to succeed Edwards in the Presidency 
at Princeton was Rev. James Lockwood, a Connecticut minister, 
whose tendencies were to the New Divinity. Hopkins was not 
formed for such an office ; but it is grateful to record that the 

* After the Professorship of Divinity, spoken of in the text, had been filled by the 
appointment of Rev. John Blair, of Fogg's 3Ianor, Pennsylvania, Mr. Hopkins eontinuod 
to manifest the same interest in it. -Thus, after having visited Boston, he writes to Dr. 
Bellamy : " July 23, 1767. Mr. Blair [Rev. Samuel B., pastor of Old South Church, 
and nephew of the newly-appointed professor] and others are beyond expectation 
friendly and zealous, with respect to the professorship. Mr. Blair tells me he can easily 
get thirty pounds sterling per annwn subscribed in Boston. My friend Mr. P. thinks 
you ought to go to New York, to forward the matter there." As early as April 5, 
17G9, there is a record that Mr. William Phillips and his two brothers, of Boston, had 
subscribed three hundred pounds, i. e., a thousand dollars, for the college at Princeton. 

t Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 44, 45. 


objections against him related not to "the substance of his doctrine," 
but to the style of Ins address- 
Still, in despite of his inattention to the outward graces, he be- 
came the spiritual adviser of multitudes beyond the circle of his own 
parish. One of the many incidents illustrating the deference which 
was paid to him by the sex which is ever the (luickest to discern 
spirituality of character, is thus related by Dr. Patten : 

" Mr. Hopkins was hio:hly esteemed by many pious persons, [in Boston.] 
There was a female praying-meeting in the place, which had been long estab- 
lished, and wliicli was in high repute, as consisting of some of the most intel- 
ligent, and discreet, and pious women belonging to the church. Of this 
meeting Mr. H. was appointed chaplain, while residing at Great Barrington. 
By this office it was expected that he would meet with them, when he came 
to Boston, and that he would answer by letter, when at homo, any question 
tliey might transmit to him on the doctrines or prophecies of Scripture, on 
cases of conscience, or other subjects relating to the kingdom of Christ. His 
answers, as one who belonged to the society informed the writer, were very 
instructive and profitable." * 


Amid the ecclesiastical commotions which followed the revivals 
under Whitefield, amid the ravages of Indian warfare, amid the dis- 
tracting influences of a society composed of Dutchmen and Puritans, 
in a new settlement, Mr. Hopkins found no more trouble than he 
expected. Any prosaic, straightforward, doctrinal preaclu'r of high 
Calvinism would have met similar embarrassments. 

The town of Great Barrington flourished somewhat during his 
pastorate. In 1701, it was selected as the seat of justice for Berk- 
shire county, and had become the residence of some eminent civil- 
ians. Notwithstanding the modest confessions of Mr. Hopkins, 
that he had effected no good in his parish, (confessions that have 
been believed, while the modesty of them has been unhonored, for 
modesty in this age is a dangerous virtue,) he " admitted to his 
church, during his ministry, one hundred and sixteen members ; 
seventy-one from the world, forty-five by recommendation from other 
churches." t This was not a useless ministry. It is often said, 
however, that his Hopkinsian peculiarities destroyed his influence at 
Great Barrington, and effected his dismissal from the place. His 
dismissal was occasioned by a variety of causes; some of which would 
have operated in like manner against the greater part of orthodox 
teachers at the present day. 

• Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 5G, 57. Tiiis prayer-inceting, which is still continued, 
was originated in 1711. Ten or fifteen years afterward, the members of il signed a 
written covenant, like that of the Osborn prayer-meeting' at Newport. This was prob- 
ably done through Hopkins's influence. 

t History of the County of Berkshire, p. 228. 



In the first place, a large proportion of his own triends in the 
parish were poor, and could not contribute much to his support. 

Secondly, a large proportion of his townsmen were parsimonious, 
and would not contribute what they could. " A number," he says,* 
" turned churchmen, apparently, and some of them professedly, to 
get rid of paying any thing for the support of the gospel." 

Thirdly, some of Mr. Hopkins's parishioners were dissatisfied 
with the terms of church communion which he enforced, and which 
are now so commonly sanctioned. A prominent civilian of Stock- 
bridge, who had there opposed Mr. Edwards on the Half Way Cov- 
enant, removed afterward to Great Barrington, and transferred his 
opposition from Mr. Edwards to "Mr. Hopkins. Many unconverted 
parents, particularly among the Dutch, insisted on having their chil- 
dren baptized ; and when the number of uncln-istened children 
amounted to sixty or thereabouts, an Episcopal clergyman was invited 
to administer the rite. Here we see another occasion of the Epis- 
copal church, which was formed at Great Barrington, in 1760, and 
which materially lessened the resources of the old parish. 

Fourthly, some of his hearers disliked his frank and honest way 
of luiiblding the doctrines of Calvinism, particularly the doctrine 
that God decrees all events, sin not excepted. 

Mr. Israel Dewey addressed a letter to his pastor, Mr. Hopkins, December 
14, 1757, and represented him as having preached one sermon on the text, 
" The Lord rcigneth," &c., and as having assorted " the decrees, the eternal 
plan, and that nothing could possibly happen but v.hat was right and ought to 
be rejoiced in, because all was exactly as God tcould have it, even events the 
most vile and enormous." Mr. Dewey further represents his pastor, Mr. Hop- 
kins, as having preaclied a second sermon, on " using the world," &c., and as 
having declared that we abuse the things of the world only when we use them 
in opposition to "the interest, end, and design for which thoy were given." 
Here Mr. Dewey aims to involve his pastor in a dilemma, and says : " If God 
ordered and appointed all the' Avickedness that comes to pass among men and 
devils, then, certainly, it must be allowed that the wickedness of man in 
abusing the world could not be contrary to the intention, end, and design of 
God the Giver, but exactly agreeable to the appointment and determination of 
God." Mr. Hopkins replied to this letter, February 4, 1758 ; to whicii reply 
Dewey rejoins, and represents Mr. Hopkins as having taught that God does, 
and does not, hate sin infinitely ; and that if he did infinitely hate its com- 
mission, he would be the most unhappy of all beings. Mr. Dewey infers from 
his pastor's discourses, that " God and the devil are of one mind, and are 
united in carrying on that work which God has eternally willed and planned 
out for him." At length, he concludes his letter by the folloAving significant 
annunciation: "And now, reverend and dear sir, I would just observe that 
the plain and manifest design of the Scriptures is to declare against sin. Nor 
can it be true, that sin should be contrary to God's law, nature, and will, and 
at the same time be perfectly agreeable to his good will and pleasure, and 
exactly as he would have it, (as you are pleased to express it.) And now, sir, 
as you stand in the relation of a pastor to me and mine, and also a teacher, 1 
think it my duty and interest to oppose you, as long as you oppose the truth. 

* Sketches, p. 49. 


If I live, and you don't dismiss your principles, you may rationally expect I 
shall oppose you and endeavor your dismission." 

Fourteen years after this correspondence, President Stiles writes in liis 
Literary Diary : " Some persons printed Mr. Hopkins's letter in answer to 
the first of Mr. Dewey. This prompted Mr. Dewey to print both his. I have 
not seen Mr. Hopkins's letters. He tells me lie has tliem all, and says Mr. 
Dewey, on a sick bed, seemed to be sorry for his letters ; but, recovering to 
health, returned to his former sentiments an^ain. Ten years after this dispute, 
Mr. Hopkins asked [his dismissal], and was dismissed. I consider the foun- 
dation of it partly hid in this dispute witli Dewey." This foundation of it, 
then, was laid in Calvinism, and not in Hopkinsianism as a distinct and 
different system ; for Calvin makes a hundred assertions like these : " The 
first man fell, because the Lord determined that he should ; " * " I confess 
that all tlie children of Adam have fallen by the will of God into this miser- 
able condition in which tiioy are involved ; and this is what I said at the first, 
tliat we nnist always return at Icngtli to the mere pleasure of the divine will, 
tiie cause of which is hidden in himself." f 

Fifthly, in addition to the above-named troubles came those of 
politics. The irritability of feeling" which preceded tlie revolution, 
was ill fitted to promote the harmony of a parish. Mr. Hopkins 
was as strong iu his Whig principles, as in other things. As early as 
March 18, 17C6, he writes to Dr. Bellamy : 

" We have nothing very new this way. Town affairs engross the thoughts 
of many. The battle is to come on next Monday, they say. If the Tories 
get the victory, which they are zealous to do, the town will lie in ruins, and I 
must soon leave preaching here, it is probable. I look on, and wait the event 
with some degree of calmness, I hope." — The battle came on. The Tories 
triumphed. I3ut the town meeting was adjudged to be illegal. The General 
Court ordered another meeting to be held in July. Major Hawley, of North- 
ampton, was to be moderator. " But the Tories are determined to carry tlie 
day even then," writes Hopkins, " and are turning every stone, and my friends 
are ready to give up the case for lost. If they prevail, it seems I have done 
here. ' The Lord reigns ; let the earth rejoice.' " 

He writes again, July 26, 17()() : " Last week we had a town meeting, which 
lasted three days. The spirits of each party were raised to a very high de- 
gree. In the issue, the Tories carried the clay, and have got all town affairs 
in their hands, just as they had before ; with tliis aggravation, that now they 
have a vastly higher degree of resentment against me and the party that ad- 
heres to me, than before. They say they will withhold a great part of my 
salary, if not all ; and it appears that they intend to get me out of town. 
Query : Since my salary seems to be the great bone of contention, the strife 
at bottom being about money, (Who shall liave the government of the money 
voted for preaching ? or, in one word, Whether the Dutch, &c., shall pay 
any part of my salary ?) had I not better give my salary up, and, if those who 
adhere to me will not maintain me by subscription, either leave them or 
preach irratis ^^ A characteristic proposal from this advocate of disinter- 
ested benevolence. 

Sixthly, many of Ins parishioners became jealous of Mr. Hopkins, 
and imagined that he was desirous of leaving them. Their sus- 
picions were inflamed by tlie fact that he had been invited to preach 

* '■■ Lapsus est enim primus homo, quia Dominus ita expedire censuerat." Inst. Lib. 
iii. cap. xxiii. § 8. 

t Inst. Lib. iii. cap. xxiii. § 4. 


in several vacant pulpits, and had spent several Avceks preaching, 
with much acceptance, in 1766 and 1767, at Salem, Massachusetts.* 
He was annoyed by this jealousy ; still he assured his people, that he 
had no wish to forsake them if they would give him an honorable 
support, (by wliich he meant about two hundred dollars per annum.') 
IIa\iiig no wish to " drive a good bargain," he confessed that his pe- 
cuniary interests would be better if he continued at Great Barrington 
than if he left it ; and then added, in his frank and blunt way, that 
if they desired him to preach, they must be more punctual in their 
attendance upon his ministrations. So many of them lived at a dis- 
tance from the meeting-house, were miable to own carriages, and 
were not attracted to walk far over rough roads for the sake of 
hearing his monotonous tones, tliat he was often discouraged by his 
meagre auditories. 

Seventhly, the spirit of the town remained, as it was at first, ad- 
verse to true religion. A great majority of the pious citizens were 
his warm friends, but immorality abounded. In 1767, he requested 
tlie church to refer the question of his continuance among them to a 
council. But they refused, for they were resolved to retain him. 
They adopted various expedients to raise his salary ; but after an 
effort of two years, they despaired, and then united with their de- 
spondent pastor in the summoning of a council. He writes to his 
confidential friend Bellamy : 

" December 20, 1768-9. I have but a minute, just to inform [you] that last 
evenincf this church agreed to call a council, to sit here on the third Wednes- 
day of January next, to advise whether it is expedient for me to continue here, 
as circumstances are, or be dismissed. The members of the council are to be 
Dr. Bellamy, Messrs. Brinsmade, Farrand, West, Collins, and the messengers 
the churches shall send with them. The church have appeared as forward to 
take this step as myself, and have led the way in advising to it ; and they gen- 
erally have higher expectations of my dismission, I believe, than I have, — 
wholly grounded in want of support. And now, sir, I hope you will be will- 
ing to go through some difficulty to assist your friend and a poor people." 

On the day appointed, (.January 18, 1769,) the council met, and 
advised, in a style very laudatory of Dr. Hopkins, that the connection 
between the discouraged ])astor and the afflicted church be dis- 
solved. He had been the minister over that people twenty-five years 
and twenty-one days. This fact attests his perseverance ; for even 
at this late day, not one of liis successors at Great Barrington has 

* In a letter to Dr. Bellamy, dated July 7, 1766, Mr. Hopkins writes : " The people 
[of Salem] urged me to stay another Sabbath, and tried to get encouragement that I 
would come and settle there. Tlie congregation is pretty large, and they say, the only 
one in town that receives and will bear sound doctrine ; that 'tis of the greatest impor- 
tance they should have a man who is able to defend the doctrines of the gospel, &.c. ; 
and they choose to settle, not a young man, but one whose character is established and 
known. I gave them no encouragement." He did not believe that the people would 
endure his preaching when they fully understood it. " Besides," he adds, "baptism 
would probably be an insuperable difficulty. — Great Barrington seems to be the place 
for me." 


remained there so long. Indeed, there was no pastor over that 
church for eighteen years after Mr. Hopkins left it. His departure 
let in evils, which his presence had kept out. After the war of the 
revolution, in 1787, a minister was stationed there, but he remained 
only three years, when the flock was again left without a shepherd 
for sixteen years. In 1798, President Dwight visited the place, and 
remarked : * "It is probable that there has been more horse-racing 
in these two towns [Great Barrington and Sheffield] than in all the 
State of Massachusetts beside." Twenty-five years after his dis- 
mission, Mr. Hopkins visited Great Barrington, witJi his friend Dr. 
Patten, who thus describes the town : f 

" Tlie people were without a minister, nor was there any convenient place 
in which to assemble for public worship. Dr. H. inquired if his former meet- 
ing-house could not be fitted for the purpose for one Sabbath ; but it M'as 
found to be impracticable, as the windows were broken, the door had fallen 
down, and the floor had long been occupied by sheep, who resorted to it from 
the common at night, and in storms. It was furtlier said, that if a meeting 
should be appointed any where else, there would be but little interest t-ikeu 
in it ; but few would attend. It was common for those who regarded the 
Sabbath and public ordinances to go to other towns to enjoy them ; while 
others devoted tlie day to visiting, to sitting in taverns, to horss-racing, and 
other amusements ; and Mr. Hopkins supposed they expended much more in 
these ways, and the consequent dissipation and extravagance, than Avould be 
necessary for the support of the gospel ministry among them." 

In his seventy-fifth year, looking back upon his dismissal, which 
occurred in his forty-eighth year, this advocate for disinterested be- 
nevolence expresses himself thus : | 

"I then had a wife and eight children, and owned a house and good farm, 
and could, by leaving my study and attending to my farm, have supported 
myself and family, and continued to preach to those who would come to hear 
me, after a sort, with little study. But I then thought, and it was the judg- 
ment of the council, and of the church, that as I could not be supported there, 
so as to be able to give myself wholly to tlie work of the ministry, and pursue 
my studies without any great interruption from worldly cares and labor, it \vas 
my duty to leave them, and go where I could be supported. And if no such 
place presented, I could, by turning my attention to farming, support myself 
But since I have seen the unhappy consequences to that people of my leaving 
them, many of which might probably have been prevented by my staying with 
them, though I had studied but little, and spent great part of my time in at- 
tention to my worldly concerns, I have sometimes been ready to call in ques- 
tion the reasonableness of that conclusion, and have thought it probable wo 
were all wrong in judging as we did, and that it Avas my duty to stay with 
that people in those circumstances. It is certain this would have been greatly 
to my ivorldhj advantage. But I then thought I did right, and took the most 
prudent and proper steps, in taking the advice of a council." 

Could the good man arise from his grave, and look out upon 
the beautiful villages and the enterprising population which now dis- 

* Dwighl's Travels, vol. ii. p. 379. 
t PaUen's Reminiscences, pp. 65, 56. 
i Sketches, pp. 49, 50. 


tinguish that romantic town, he would rejoice tliat he once struggled 
there against the obstacles to its civilization, and prayed there for 
the children and children's cliildren of the pioneers who subdued its 
wild forests. 


In his thirty-third year, December 26, 1753, the good man writes : 

" I have lately had distressing apprehensions of the badness of my state, 
being ready to conclude that such a sinner as I am cannot possibly have any 
grace. This evening my spirit labored imder an unsupportable load of sin, 
and my spirits were drnnk up with anguish. As soon as I could, I shut my- 
self up in my study, and fell upciU my knees before God. 

" And first, I felt and told God that I had nowhere else to go but to him, 
though I had sinned so greatly against him. I felt and expressed the extreme 
folly of forsaking him, — that it was beyond all conception. I reflected on the 
aggravations of my sins, and saw they were so vastly multiplied and numerous, 
that it was impossible my mind should ever have a full view of them, or be 
able to reckon them; yea, that there was not one aggravation but what ex- 
ceeded all my thoughts and conceptions. I thought it a wonder that I was not 
in hell, and confessed that God might justly send me there immediately ; yea, 
he might justly do what was unspeakably more dreadful, viz., continue me in 
the world till I had filled up the dreadful measure of my iniquities, and be- 
come a great and remarkable vessel of wrath, fitted for that destruction for 
which I was before appointed, that I might sink down unspeakably below Ju- 
das, and bear a more awful weight of wrath than any other who should go 
to hell. 

" Under these shocking apprehensions of the weight of wrath which be- 
longed to me, it came into my mind that Christ could save from all this ; he 
could deliver from such a weighty wrath. 

" Immediately upon which, my soul applied to him for help, and this was 
the language of my heart : ' Lord Jesus, I come, I come, I come to thee ; I 
come for deliverance from this distinguished place in hell, this uncommon 
weight of wrath.' I thought I might hope in him for deliverance, though oth- 
ers went to hell, whose sins were unspeakably less than mine ; and the truth 
contained in those words, ' 1 will have mercy on whom I will have merci/,^ 
seemed sweet and wonderful. I felt confounded, and my soul was filled with 
blushing and shame, saying from my heart, ' Righteousness belongeth unto 
thee, O Lord, but unto me shame and confusion of face, because I have 
sinned.' In the conclusion of my petitions, when I mentioned Christ as the 
person in whose name I presented myself and oflfering, I felt that he was the 
only Saviour, and ground of hope for sinners. Had it not been for him, the 
least sin must have damned infallibly ; and it seemed wonderful, even that the 
least sinner, and especially such a sinner as I was, might have hope. When 
I came to conclude my devotions with ascriptions of praise to God, my 
heart dwelt upon this, and I longed that the angels might praise God. I saw 
that God could glorify himself by saving me, but the tribute of praise which I 
could offer was mean and inconsiderable. I Avanted to lisp out his praise in 
some humble place. I rose from my knees, lightened and comforted ; all na- 
ture put on a more pleasant aspect, and those words, ' I will have mercy on 
whom I will have mercy,' dwelt on my heart with pleasure and delight." 

In his forty-eighth year, a few months after leaving Great Bar- 
rington, he writes : 


"Monday, June 12, 17G9. Spent Saturday in fasting and prayer; had a 
variety of exercises, more strong than common ; was in tears great part of the 
day, so that I was obliged to shut myself up, not fit to be seen. If ever I 
knew what it was to cast myself upon Christ, I did so now. Sovereign grace 
was all my plea and all my hope. I had unspeakable pleasure in thinking 
that in me there was a proper foundation for the greatest exercise and display 
of sovereign grace, even in my infinite, distinguished guilt, vilencss, and mis- 
cry ; this afforded opportunity for the exercise of divme power, wisdom, and 
goodness, in all their infinite height and latitude ; that in me, there was a 
hroad bottom for the trial of divine grace, on which it may Jiave full scope, as 
it were, and erect the greatest monument to the praise of the glory of God's 
grace to all eternity ! My soul seemed to rejoice and exult in this, more, 
unspeakably more than in my own salvation, considered as separate from this. 
Yea, the latter was as nothing, of no account, and not worth asking for, in 
comparison with the former, or aside from that. 

" My exercises were uncommon and remarkable in one respect, viz., in the 
ijuick succession of light and joy, and dejection and gloom. I was sometimes 
lifted up, and then soon cast down, and my exercises, as it were, obliterated. 

" The chief things I proposed to seek God for to-day, were, first, his direc- 
tion and smiles, with regard to my future circumstances and usefulness in the 
Avorld ; with respect to which I have had a variety of exercises, which would 
fill a volume were they all recorded ; secondly, for my Christian friends ; 
thirdly, for the church of Christ, &,c. 

" This morning, awoke witli the words of Christ in my mind, ' He that hath 
my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me ; and he that 
lovcth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest 
myself unto him.' I seemed to long to keep Christ's commandments, and 
thought the great one was to love one another. This led me, Avhen I was up, 
to read the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth chapters of John. And O, how 
full of sweet instruction are they ! There is an additional, inexpressible 
sweetness in the Bible, now, which I never tasted before. 

" Saturday morning, July 1. Purpose to spend this day in fasting and 
prayer. The day is to be spent in the following manner: 1. In attending to 
my sins, and confessing them before God ; 2. In praying for pardon and holi- 
ness ; 3. That God would make the path of dutj' plain before me, form me for 
his service, and improve me in it ; 4. In seeking mercies for my wife and 
children ; 5. Praying for dir(;ction and assistance while with this people, that 
some good may be done here ; 6. For my Christian friends and kind benefac- 
tors ; 7. For the church of Christ in general, and for the world of mankind. — 
Close the day with thanksgiving. 

'• When I first rose this morning, read the seventy-first Psalm, with some 
exercises of heart and pleasure. Many passages in it seemed applicable to 
my circumstances, and I thought I could make them the language of my own 
hean. The imprecations on enemies (verses 13, 24,) I could apply to invisible 
enemies ; the devils, and wicked men, considered as enemies to me, because 
enemies to Christ, and so far as they are such, they may be consumed and 
destroyed. This is consistent with their being converted and saved. 

'"Their feet are swift to shed blood, but how to do good they know not.' 
This is the very character that I have been of, all my days. All sin of omis- 
sion or commission is shedding blood ; it is mischief, it is murder. In all my 
connections, I have been constantly guilty of omitting something which I ought 
to have done for their good, or doing something which tended to their hurt. 
I have missed ten thousand opportunities to do good, and have not seen them 
till they were past, through the stupidity and Avickedness of my heart. If I 
have ever desired to do any good, it has been the effect of sovereign grace. 

" I have been longing to get rid of sin. The thought of living as I have is 
dreadful. In this sense, I groan, being burdened ! 

" July 5. I have had a sweet hour between nine and ten. Surely, if the 
highest enjoyments on earth were all laid at my feet, to have them to all eter- 



nity without God, I would not give this hour's enjoyment for them all. Yea, 
I would despise them. ' It is good for me to draw near to God.' How swift 
and how sweetly do ideas pass the mind, when it is in any measure in a right 
frame ! It is impossible to express all the thoughts and ideas which have 
passed my mind in this hour on my knees before God. ' Tliere is none on 
earth that I desire besides thee,^ were words to which my soul did echo, and 
which I could espouse with all my heart. Besides thee, that is, aside from 
thee, or without thee, and not in union with thee. I concluded with a solemn 
and I hope hearty dedication of myself to God, believing that he could, and 
in a degree of confidence that he would, do more than I am able to ask, or 

" July G. Rose early this morning, and O, astonishing that I may say it ! 
have had a gracious and most sweet visit from God. When I first attempted 
to bow before God, I felt myself, all at once, in the presence of the all-seeing, 
infinitely wise, good, and every way most excellent and glorious God, who is 
wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. My soul adored, and loved, 
and rejoiced in him. My soul was drawn out in strong and sweet exercises 
of love and praise, in a view of what God is in himself, and as manifested in 
his works. My soul would praise God, let him do what he would M'ith me. I 
said, I will praise thee as long as I live, and bless thy name while I have a 
being. O, how did my heart rejoice and exult that there is such a God! 
Words cannot utter it, nor can I write a thousandth part of my exercises. It 
appeared something wonderfully great, and inexpressibly desirable, to be the 
instrument of bringing but one soul to the knowledge of this glorious God — 
of turning men from darkness to this marvellous light. 

" This morning I have been led to view and address God, considered in his 
absolute, divine perfection, and address him in and through Christ, more than 
is common for me. I generally, when I have the greatest freedom at the 
throne of grace, speak directly to Christ, as if he was, in a sense, the only 
object of worship, being God, and having all power in heaven and earth ; but 
now it was otherwise. 

" I have sometimes been troubled about this matter, and feared I had no 
right ideas of the Fatlier and the Son, of God and Christ, as I seemed not to 
know how to conceive of them, and address them in my devotions. And [I] 
have been hence led to ask, that I might know the only true God, and Jesus 
Christ, whom he hath sent ; might have ideas and conceptions of the glorious 
God and Saviour, agreeable and answerable to the revelation he has made of 
himself I have been more satisfied about it this morning. I now believe 
that Christians may have different views witli respect to this, and yet all be 
right. Sometimes their minds may be fixed on Christ, in whom dwells all the 
fulness of the Godhead, and he may be more immediately the object of their 
adoration and worship, addressing him more directly, in which he is consid- 
ered as set up by the Father, and invested with all authority, and so compre- 
hending all that is called God. At other times, tliey may have their minds 
more especially fixed on the divine perfections, more absolutely considered, 
yet not exclusively of Christ the Mediator, and so more directly address God 
over all, blessed forever, as exercising mercy through a Mediator. And I 
believe different Christians may, in a stated way, differ in this respect in their 
view and addresses, and so be naturally led to talk of their exercises in a little 
different language ; some speaking more of God, others more of Christ. Our 
ideas are very scant at best, and we see but by parts and in a very partial 
manner. Hence, when we view God in one attitude, if I may so express it, 
his other relations and attitudes are more out of sight, and less attended to. 
Yet when all our ideas and views are compared together, they are perfectly 
uniform and consistent, however various and different they may be. 

" Three o'clock. Have had a sweet time in a walk in the woods [in Tops- 
ham, Maine]. Had more hope and confidence before God that I should dwell 
with him forever in his kingdom, than I ever had before. Christ appeared 
great and glorious in redeeming his people from all iniquity, and even in 


redeeming one such soul as mine. I said, ' I will praise thee forever ; ' but thia 
tribute appeared nothing. Then I said, ' Let all the angels praise thee for 
thy wonderful works to me.' But this also appeared to be little, which led 
me to say, ' Glorify thyself.' 

"Saturday, September 30. Have been reading the twenty-fifth Psalm, 
with application to myself. Have particularly attended to the seventh verse, 
where the Psalmist desires that God would give what he asks for, for his 
goodness^ sake, that is, for the sake of the display of his goodness, as there 
must be a great and wonderful exercise afid display of it in showing mercy to 
him who was so sinful, unwortliy, and ill-deserving. This has been often my 
only refuge and plea. God shows mercy, for Ms goodness' sake. This is a 
reason, then, why he should show mercy to me ; for his own goodness cannot 
be more displayed and honored than in his being good to me. Blessed be 
God for this plea. I can now say, ' Pardon mine iniquity, for it is greaV 

" November 10. Had a pleasant season this morning, soon after I rose. It 
began with desires after the Holy Spirit. I saw this was all I wanted, all I 
could ask for, and pleaded the promise, ' Ask, and ye shall receive.' These 
words of Christ Avere on my mind, ' He that forsaketh house, or lands,' &c., 
&c. I thought I had a heart to do this, and blessed Christ that he had given 
such a heart, as the greatest possible gift, infinitely greater than to have the 
whole world bestowed on me. I know I ought to be willing to suffer and die 
in the cause of truth. O that Christ would give me such a heart ! 

" January G, 1770. I have been walking in a ropewalk [at Newport, Rhode 
Island] by myself. There I dedicated myself to Jesus Christ, with strength 
of heart and with unspeakable joy. I felt it to be an amazing privilege that I 
might be devoted to him, and that he would accept such an offering. I felt 
that I was under infinite obligations to this, and that the obligation is every 
way unbounded, and that there is a peculiar happiness in being thus obliged 
to him. 

" I have promised that, by his grace, I never will recall this dedication of 
myself to him, praying him to subdue everj' thing in my heart that opposes 
this consecration, and that he would cause it to rise higher and higher con- 

" Saturday, near sunset, January 13. Have had some sense of God's 
mercies to-day, and some disposition to praise him for his wonderful goodness. 
I have had a degree of confidence that I am devoted to God. I cast myself, 
and all my concerns, the concerns of the church and the world, on him, with 
some degree of sensible resignation and cheerfulness. Have had more strong 
desires than ever for the good of the congregation I am preaching to, and 
have been enabled to plead for it with God. My mouth has been filled with 
arguments, and [I] have had strong desires to be tlie instrument of building 
of it up. 

" Monday morning, four o'clock. Have been worried about my preaching 
yesterday. I believe it Avas the truth, but perhaps I had better not have 
preached it then ; but I suspect the devil has a hand in my uneasiness and 
perplexity. O that Christ would deliver me from this roaring lion, and 
baffle and confound him ! I know he will, and that however imprudent I am, 
and whatever advantage the devil gets by it at present, it shall all turn against 
him at last, and he siiall be most effectually disappointed and confounded. 
This is some comfort to me, I think ; but it is unspeakably dreadful to me, to 
think of giving him advantage by my imprudence and sin. O Lord, in thy 
righteousness deliver me from this subtle, powerful, cruel, unjust, injurious 
foe ! He has no right to seek my ruin or the ruin of others. So far as I am 
against him and desire to oppose him, and sincerely cry to thee for deliverance, 
and his overthrow, I am in a righteous cmise. O, deliver me in thy righteous- 
ness. Let him be blasted forever. 

"Saturday evening, February 10. Have had freedom in thought and 
prayer. Have been enabled to cast all my cares and burdens on God, as an 
infinitely full fountain, and the portion which my soul desires. I have some- 


times seemed to have nothing to pray for ; every thing is ngnt, and just as I 
should desire to have it be. So long as Christ reigns and has every thing in 
his hands, I seem to have nothing to do but praise. 

" It seems to me I have some higher sense of what is meant by living by 
faith on the Son of God, than I used to have. It is to make Christ all, to 
seek him for every thing, and live entirely on his expense and charges, having 
nothing of our own but emptiness and poverty." 


We arc now to turn over a new leaf in the history of Mr. Hop- 
kins. One half of his ministerial life has passed away ; the more 
eventful half is yet to come. When dismissed from Great Barring- 
ton, he doubted whether he should ever again become the pastor of 
a church. lie was engaged in writing a work for the press ; and, 
spending the week at home, was accustomed to ride twelve miles 
every Saturday, to North Canaan, and after preaching there on the 
Sabbath, return home on Monday morning. In the ensuing April 
and May, (17G9,) be preached several Sabbaths at the Old South 
meeting-bouse, in Boston. Many of the most earnest Christians in 
that church desired that he should be installed over it * as a col- 
league with the venerable Dr. Sewall ; but the more popular mem- 
bers of the congregation frowned on the movement and checked it. 
He was then invited to Topsham, Maine, where he preached to a 
Presbyterian society, from the early part of June to the early part 
of July. He was strongly urged to remain there, and assured that 
he would receive a unanimous call. From Topsham, he was in- 
vited to Newport, Rhode Island. He arrived at that town, July 21, 
1769, and preached his first sermon there, July 23. Having been 
heard five Sabbaths, he received a call to settle over the First Con- 
gregational Church and Society in that town. Seven members of 
the church voted in his favor, three voted against him, and two 
voted neither way. He took the call into consideration, returned 
home, and after several weeks went back to Newport with a pur- 
pose to comply with the desires of the church. He had become 
strongly attached to its members. But a change had come over the 
people. A sarcastic pamphlet had been circulated against him, and 
a committee of the church now requested him to withhold his an- 
swer to their call, to continue his ministerial labors among them, and 
wait in hope that the prejudices excited by the pamphlet might sub- 
side. He yielded to the wish of his friends, and as the day for the 
decisive vote drew near, he makes the following records : 

" Saturday, March 3, 1770. I think I have given up every point but this, 
viz., that the path of duty may be made plain. If I have a call to leave New- 

* He had been somewhat intimate with Rev. Mr. Gumming, a former pastor of the 
Old South, and with some wealthy individuals iu the church. 


port, and shall see it to be so, I think I can cheerfully go forth, not knowing 
whither I am to go. And I have a pleasing hope and confidence that the way 
will be made plain. Why should I not trust in that God for this, who has 
hitherto led me in a plain path, especially ever since I have had a heart to 
seek this in a more particular manner, making it my great petition, not caring 
so much what God called me to, if his call might be made clear and plain ? 

" God's goodness has been increasing upon me continually, and I will hope 
in him, for I shall yet praise him. I will now praise him for all his wonderful 
goodness to me, which is indeed beyond all account. God has forgiven me 
from my youth unto this day, and why may I not trust in him now ? By his 
grace I will ; on him I cast myself; on him I rely for pardoning and uphold- 
ing mercy. 

" Lord's Day evening, March 4. Had some uncommon exercises this 
murning. I longed to be improved in the work of the ministry, that Christ 
would be Avith me and make me a blessing. I offered myself, desiring that 
he would send me, since he had so much work to do in the world, and since 
he must employ unworthy, guilty sinners. I offered myself as such an one ; 
and since he glorified himself in improving such, the more unworthy and vile, 
the more he would be glorified. I therefore made this an argument that I 
might be improved, as I was the most guilty and vile that could be found. 

" March 7. Feel calm, resigned, and in some degree tliankful. O, what 
consolation is it that God reigns, and will take the best care of his own lionor 
and interest ! And what an infinite mercy that I may hope and be confident 
that this God is my God and Redeemer ! " 

Ou Monday, March 12, the congregation met ; and after having 
heard him nearly eight months, decided by a vote of thirty-six to 
thirty-three that they did not wish his services as their pastor. His 
opposers had circulated a paper for signatures against him, and by 
dint of personal address had secured a majority against his settle- 
ment. His friends were surprised and grieved. 

" When this vote was communicated to him," says Dr. Patten,* " he in- 
(juired if the society had any supply engaged for the pulpit, the following 
Sabbath. On their answering, ' No,' he further inquired, as he could not reach 
home that week, whether the prejudices of the people were such that they 
would not be willing to hear him preach. They replied, ' O no ; there is no 
such prejudice against you as that; they will be pleased to hear you.' The 
writer has seen, in manuscript, the sermon delivered in tlie afternoon on that 
occasion. It was appropriate as a valedictory discourse. It was expressive 
of no irritation ; it manifested by implication no desire to have the call re- 
newed. It appeared to'be his great solicitude to guard the people from preju- 
dice against the truth, and, in this light, against bun as a minister of the 
truth. He said that he ' held no doctrines, the substance of which he had not 
preached to them before they gave him a call ; that it was his object, by study 
of the Scriptures and by prayer, to ascertain the truth, and thus to preach no 
doctrine to which any one could object witliout objecting to the word of 

He preached this sermon, March 18, and at the same time com- 
municated to the church his letter declining tlie call which he had 
received from them on the 21st of the preceding August. He 
then expected to return home during that very week, and to " live 
a private life on his farm." 

* Reminiscences; pp. 59-€l. 


" But," he says,* " the congregation appeared attentive and solemn, [during 
my farewell discourse,] and numbers were observed to weep. The next 
morning, [March 19,] it was reported, where I lodged, that there appeared to 
be a revolution in the congregation ; that several of the leaders in the oppo- 
sition to me appeared to repent of what they had done, and said that their 
consciences accused them so severely of their wickedness in what they had 
done, that they had little or no sleep during the night, and were now deter- 
mined to do all they could to prevent my leaving them. And, accordingly, 
tJiey went to those whom they had influenced to subscribe against my stay- 
ing, to persuade them to retract. And that evening, two or three of those 
who had been at the head of the opposition to me came to me, and confessed 
they had opposed my settling in the congregation, and influenced as many as 
they could against me. But now [they] were convinced they had done 
wrong, and Imd taken pains to undo what they had done, and persuade those 
whom they had influenced to appear against my settling among them, to alter 
their sentiments and conduct ; that they now sincerely desired that I would 
stay and be their minister, &c. And I was at the same time informed that a 
number of the congregation, who had been in a great degree indifibrent with 
regard to my staying or going away, now appeared to be aroused and engaged 
in favor of my staying, and said they would do all in their power to prevent 
my leaving them. The next day, the committee of the congregation applied 
to me, and said that it appeared that those who had been in opposition to my 
settlement among them had retracted, and were now desirous that I would 
stay with them ; at least, this was true of the most of them. And they be- 
lieved, if the church and congregation were now to meet, they would be 
unanimous, or nearly so, in renewing their former invitation to me to settle with 
them in the ministry. They therefore desired me to stay till the church and 
congregation could be called together, and renew their call, if they should 
appear, when met, disposed to do it. I consented to this, and in the begin- 
ning of the next week, [March 26, 1770,] tlie church and congregation met, 
and renewed their invitation to mo to settle in the ministry with them. In 
this they were almost unanimous ; but two or thr^e of the congregation dis- 
sented, who had little or no influence in the congregation. And two or three 
of the church chose to be neuters, and vote neither for nor against it." 

This is but one of many instances in which there seems to have 
been a real eloquence in the homely words of Mr. Hopkins. On the 
following day, he writes in his Journal ; 

" March 19. This day I had news brought me that three men, who had 
been most steady in opposing me, declared last evening that they were sorry 
they had opposed me, and they were now desirous that I would stay and set- 
tle with them. They Avere brought to this by my farewell sermon. It is said 
this sermon has had greater effect than all my preaching before. Some who 
have thought it not best for me to stay, now appear zealous for my staying. 
This is all wonderful. I desire to stand still and see the hand, the salvation 
of God ! How greatly are my obligations increased to trust in God, to live 
to him, and follow him in the dark! What matter for praise and gratitude ! 

" March 21. My mind has been full of comfort and joy this morning. 
Have had unspeakably sweet exercises, more than can be mentioned. The 
success of my preaching last Sabbath is an instance of God's goodness, be- 
yond any thing of the kind I ever experienced before. The walls of Jericho 
are fallen down by the blowing of rams' horns. 

" Friday, March 23. The amazuig instance of last Sabbath dwells on my 
mind, though I fear it will not be improved by me as it ought. When the 
walls of Jericho fell flat before the people of Israel, an accursed thing was 

* Autobio^aphy, pp. 72-74. 


soon found in the camp. All was not dedicated to the Lord, and ho was dis- 
pleased. How justly displeased may he be, if this remarkable interposition 
of Divine Providence should not be all consecrated to his praise and honor! 
O Lord, keep me back from coveting any thing of the spoils of this victory 
to myself, to he improved in the gratification of my pride and worldliness. 
This I am in tiic utmost danger of, and shall do worse than Achau did, unless 
the Lord hold me back. O, may all be consecrated to thy glory." 

Speaking of his installation, he says, after the hipse of a quarter 
of a century : * 

"This event appeared to give satisfaction to all. And it was a time of pe- 
culiar gratitude and joy to my Christian friends, of whom there was a consid- 
erable number who had steadily adhered to me from my first acquaintance 
with them. And their pious affections, gratitude, and joy were greatly 
heightened, by the dark and trying scene which preceded, in my being appar- 
ently rejected by the congregation, and consequently determined to leave 
them ; and the remarkable manner in which a revolution took place in favor 
of my staying, in which the hand of God was so conspicuous. And it was a 
peculiar satisfaction to me, that God had in such a manner opened the way 
for my settling here, and made the way of duty so plain, and that such a num- 
ber of very dear and excellent Christian friends were hereby so greatly grat- 
ified. And I considered myself to be under new and greater obligations to 
devote myself to the service of Jesus Christ, and to faithfulness to him and 
the church and congregation to whom I now stood related as their pastor and 
minister. And now with shame I reflect upon my great deficiency. I said I 
would be wise, but it has been far from me ! O Lord, enter not into judgment 
with me, for I cannot stand, or answer. I fly to pardoning mercy, through the 
atonement of Christ, as my only refuge." 


Both of the above-named gentlemen exhibited the most interest- 
ing traits of their character in their intercourse with each other. 
President Stiles had been pastor of the Second Congregational 
Church in Newport nearly fifteen years when Mr. Hopkins was in- 
stalled over the First; and he remained more than six years a co- 
laborer with that self-denying divine. He was a man of extensive 
learning t and of a transparent honesty. He was a moderate Cal- 
vinist, and would not hesitate to express his disapprobation of any 
man, who " was so very Orthodox as to be a little inclined to the 
New Divinity." His church had not been separated from the First 
on account of doctrinal differences, but still was less strict and 
severe than the First, both in its theology and its religious life. It 
contained more of the aristocratic and less of the Puritan element. 
It was more noted for general inteUigence, but less for theological 
information. President Stiles was not at all in favor of Mr. Hop- 
kins's settlement over the First Church. In his Literary Diary he 

* Sketches, pp. 74, 75. 

t "This country has not, perhaps, produced a more learned man." — Dr. W. E. 
ChanaiDg, Works, vol. iv. p. 340. 


gives a less favorable, and, we have reason to believe, a less accu- 
rate account than that which all other writers have given, of the 
changes effected by the " Farewell Sermon." He says that " no 
alteration was made in more than seven men " by that sermon. 
" Mrs, Osborn and the sorority of her meeting are violently engaged, 
and had great influence. They and the two deacons, and two 
thirds of [the] church were warmly engaged for Mr. Hopkins." 

It is interesting to read that Dr. Stiles's church had some queries 
with regard to the propriety of installing Samuel Hopkins as a 
minister of the gospel ! There has certainly been some progress 
within the last seventy years ! Dr. Stiles writes in his Church 
Records : 

" It having been suggested as Mr. Hopkins's opinion, that it was not the duty 
of the unregenerate to use the means of grace, their guilt being increased, 
the more light they resisted, under even the highest convictions, the church 
insisted, and unanimously charged us in council, to know from Mr. Hopkins 
whether he held that it was a sin for the unregenerate to use the means of 
grace. And in case it was his principle, they desired the pastor not to pro- 
ceed nor assist in his instalment. Accordingly, when the council met, this 
was agitated ; and, after some discourse, Mr. Hopkins declared, before the 
council, ' that it was the duty of the unregenerate to pray to God, to read the 
Scriptures, attend public worship, and, in general, to use all the means of 
grace.' This was to the satisfaction of the council, Mr. Hopkins being of 
good moral character." 

Dr. Stiles was the scribe of the council, and thus describes the 
manner of the instalment : 

" Repairing to the meeting-house about eleven [o'clock,] A. M., [April 11, 
1770,] whore was a large assembly, Mr. Campbell opened the solemnity with 
prayer ; then I preached from John xviii. 3 : ' This is life eternal,' &c. Then 
I read the result publicly, Avith the votes of tlie church and of the congrega- 
tion. Then I turned to the brethren of the church, (who sat together in a 
body by themselves,) and put it to vote, whether they now continued to call, 
&c. Then I turned to Mr. Hopkins for his answer of acceptance ; which be- 
ing done, I retired from the desk, and Mr. Ellis ascended it and prayed ; and 
after prayer, he turned to Mr. Hopkins, the pastor elect, and addressed him 
with a charge, which was done without imposition of hands, (as lie had been 
once ordained,) so that the design of this was only to give him the pastoral 
charge of this flock. Then Mr. [Levi] Hart gave hun the right hand of fellow- 
ship, and made the concluding prayer. Then Mr. Hopkins gave the Psalm, 
;ind dismissed the assembly with a blessing." 

At the time of Hopkins's installation, Dr. Stiles was at the height 
of his intimacy with the Jewish Rabbles and other literati, at New- 
port. This is very obvious in bis installation discourse. Its theme 
was, " Saving Knowledge." It abounds with Latin and Greek sen- 
tences from the fathers, with biblical quotations also, in the original 
Hebrew, to some of which are appended Latin translations ; with ref- 
erences to Selden, Croijus, Le Clerc, Basnage, Monis, Simeon ben 
Johauy, Zeno, Plato, Parmenides, etc. He seemed to think it fit- 
ting, tliat the sermon at Hoplcins's installation should have a marked 


character. The following are a few of his sentences on the " Trin- 
ity in Unity," and they must have caused a peculiar expression of 
countenance in the pastor elect : 

" To adduce a few passages. Isaiah xli. 4, Ami JeJwvah rashon vat acha- 
ronimani hu. Here is acharonim plural predicated of /, oneness, repeated 
unity — / am he — and yet this / am he is tlie Jirst and last Gods, or plurali- 
ties. Again, Jeremiah xxiii. 3G ; Joshua xxiv. 19 ; Isaiah, xxxvii. 16 ; Jere- 
miah X. 10; as also Deuteronomy iv. 35; 2 Samuel vii. 20; Amos iii. 13; 
Hosea xii. 5; Malachi i. D, — im adonim am, [si Domini eiifo,) If I am your 
Lords. Deuteronomy xi. 4, Jehovah elohinu Jehovah akaud, [Jehovah dii nos- 
tri Jehovah units); Jehovah our Gods is the one Jehovah, or, There is hut one 
sc'f-cxistcnt bein^. I think every one, who understands these passages in the 
original, must see Plurality ix Unity; that in Jehovah there are Elohim, 
Gods ; and yet that they all make He singular or unity ; for Moses expressly 
asserts- Jehovah is a most ahsolute unity, — a unity to which no other unity 
bears any resemblance ; agreeable to Rabbi Moses ben Maimon and the 
Igdal, ahaud vain jachid. Jiajichiido, [uniis nee unitas similis iinitati sua\) 
Now this plurality in the divine essence is the only thing (under a numeral 
idea) which distinguishes it from other unities. All unities are alike, except 
that of God. Rabbi Akiba, ix. Mishna, says, Chajim Elohim ruach ahaut, 
[unus est spiritus Deorum viventium)." * 

In one of his learned notes to this discourse, p. 18, Dr. Stiles 
recommends to young clergymen the study of the Platonic writers 
and of the Raljbinical literature. So dift'erent was he in his mental 
texture from his new co-laborer, t His friendships, too, were by no 
means the same with the friendships of his " new-divinity colleague." 
He was intimate with Dr. Dana, of New Haven, Dr. Chauncy, of 
Boston, and Rev. William Hart, the author of the pamphlet which 
delayed Mr. Hopkins's settlement at Newport. Can we wonder, 
then, that he recoiled from being shut up on an island with the 
ablest living champion of the Edwardean theology ? — StUl, both 
Dr. Stiles and his new neighbor were sensible men, and did not 
press their speculative differences into social life. It has been said 
by Dr. Channing, | that they " held no ministerial intercourse " with 
each other. This were sad, if true. But President Stiles writes in 
his Church Records, that he exchanged with Mr. Hopkins on the 
Sabbath preceding the installation of the latter. He afterwards 
alludes to fi-equent instances of the like fellowship. After he be- 
came President of Yale College, he went to Newport often, and, in 
his Literary Diary, thus notices his visits : 

" October 1, 1780. Attended and heard Mr. Hopkins in the Sabbatarian 
meeting-house, who administered the sacrament to about thirty couununicants, 
when I partook. — P. M. I preached [from] Rom. xii. 2, my congregation 

* Inst. Sermon, pp. 13, 14. 

t Still, our nietapliysipal divine caught some Hebraistic inspiration from Dr. Stiles ; 
for in loss than three months after this " instalment sermon," Hopkins writes to Bel- 
lamy : " My friends in Boston are ready liberally to contribute for the support of a stu- 
dent of Hebrew, if a proper person could be found." 

t Works, vol. iv. p. 330. 


attending." [The two congregations worshipped together for a time after the 
revolutionary army left Newport.] 

" September 29, 1782. Lord's Day, at Newport. Preached all day to my 
dear flock in the Sabbatarian meeting-house. I notified a sacramental lec- 
ture at Mr. Hopkins's meeting-house, he expecting to be absent, and proposing 
;ind desiring that the two churches should unite in communion together." 

•' October 3. I preached a sacramental lecture." 

" October 6. I preached all day at Mr. Hopkins's meeting, and admin- 
istered the sacrament to both churches, united on the occasion, and for 
the first time," [i. e. the churches, although worshipping together, had not 
previously communed together.] 

In his Memoir of Stiles, Dr. Holmes writes : * " Dr. Hopkins held a stated 
evening lecture every week, which Dr. Stiles usually attended. On one of 
these occasions, having read his text, he was taken with a bleeding at the 
nose, and sat down. The blood not stopping, he requested Dr. Stiles to 
preach. Furnished to all good works, he took the same text and preached 

It is interesting to notice the regularity with which Dr. Stiles records from 
week to week his attendance upon the Thursday lecture of Hopkins, and the 
gratification which he expresses, now and then, at the "many fine and judi- 
cious observations " which the lecturer made. 

When he lost his wife, he wrote, May 30, 1775: "I desired Mr. Hopkins 
to make a prayer at my house, before the corpse was canied out," and " Mr. 
Hopkins walked as a mourner " to the grave. " When I settled in the ministry 

at Newport," he says,f " Mr. , the Congregational minister of the 

other church, was suspicious and cold toward me. I disarmed him by silence 
and benevolence. When his ministry was ended, I hoped for a successor in 
whom I might be happy as a cordial brother. There was a prospect of this 

in an ingenious young man, Mr. A . But the church finally settled Mr. 

[Hopkins], of some sentiments very different from mine, while we agreed well 
in the general system of orthodoxy. As the providence of God had brought 
us into a connection, I determined to learn and get all the good I could from 
him, treat him with respect and benevolence, and endeavor, as far as we were 
agreed, to cooperate with him in building up the Redeemer's kingdom. And 
we lived together in peace and love." 

There were many particulars, indeed, in which these two divines 
felt a cordial union. They were both decided patriots, and both 
contended, shoulder to shoulder, against the Tory influence which 
made many of the Rhode Island clergy adverse to the revolution. | 
They were both thorough-going CongregationaUsts, and had saga- 
city enough to fear, and manliness enough to oppose, the growth of 
the Anglican church among the descendants of those who had fled 
from it to our shores. Above all, these two men were benevolent 
Christians, and as such they went before their age in pushing for- 
ward various schemes of philanthropy. 

It deserves to be remembered, in proof of Dr. Hopkins's Cathol- 
icism of temper, that not only during the six years of his connec- 

* Dr. Holmes's Life of President Stiles, p. 195. 

t lb. pp. 273, 274. 

I Dr. Stiles gives a graphic a<;count of the spinning matches, or " voluntary bees," 
which were held at his house, and also at the house of Mr. Hopkins, in 1770 and 1771. 
" Ninety-two Daughters of Liberty spun and reeled, respiting and assisting one 
another," etc., etc. 


tion with Dr. Stiles, but also during the thirty-three years of his 
pastorate at Newport, he lived in uniform friendship with the minis- 
ter of the Second Church, and the relations between that church 
and his own were less hostile than they hud been before his installa- 
tion, or than they were for a quarter of a century after his death. 
Notwithstanding all his controversies, he was a " lover of peace." 


To go from the hilly region of Berkshire to the ocean scenery of 
Rhode Island, was a great change. Greater still was the transition 
from the society of Massachusetts yeomen, to that of the nautical 
and mercantile community at Newport. In his forty-ninth year, and 
with the habits of rural life, Mr. Hopkins was not well fitted for such 
an alteration of his social intercourse. When he was installed at 
Newport, the town was larger than it is now, and far more enter- 
prising. It was the second town of New England in commercial 
importance. Although the census taken in 1774 gave the place only 
9209 inhabitants, yet the place is supposed to have actually coi;- 
tained about 11,000;* more than twice as many as Providence at 
that time. Newport has now only 9503 inhabitants,! less tlian one 
fourth as many as Providence. In 1773, New York had but 21,876 
inhabitants, being only about twice as large as New^iort, and having 
in many departments a much less extensive foreign trade. The mer- 
chants of what is now the commercial emporium then sent often to 
Newport for their foreign goods, as Newport sends now to that empo- 
rium. A mercantile house in London is said to have directed a 
letter to " New York, near Newport." The tov.n was noted, not 
only for the charms of its natural scenery, but also for the beauty 
of its private residences, for its fashionable and luxurious, as well as 
its intelligent and enterprising society, its culture of the fine arts, its 
scientific clubs, its refinement of t.aste and manners. Hence it was 
the favorite resort of learned men. The painters Stuart and Malbone 
were natives of the town ; it was the favorite residence of Bishoj) 
Berkeley, and its medical practitioners were famed throughout the 
land. Not even in Virginia did there prevail a much more elegant 
hospitality, a much more sumjituous and baronial style of living, than 
among a class of the Narraganset planters. Dr. IMcSparran, a cele- 
brated Episcopal clergyman in Newport, said, in 1752, that "neither 
Epiphanius's nor Sir Richard Blackmore's catalogues contain more 
heterodox and different opinions in religion than are to be found in 

* Ross's Discourse, embracing the Civil and Religious History of Rhode Island, 
pp. G7, 68. 

t Still, it has at present eighteen churches — one for every five hundred and thirty- 
inhabitants J whereas, in 1770, it had only ten churches. 


this little corner." * When Mr. Hopkins went there, he found two 
vio^orous Baptist churches, each more than a century old. Three 
hundred Jews, many of them eminent for wealth and commercial 
skill, added interest to the town. Both Jewish and Sabbatarian 
worship had been maintained there for about a hundred years. A 
large number of Moravians, a still larger number of Quakers, diver- 
sified the social habits of the people. President Stiles loved to walk 
over the Parade with the Jewish Rabbies, learning from them the 
mysteries of the Cabala ; but was this a place for Samuel Hopkins ? 
He could not harmonize with the Dutch farmers ; what will he do 
with the French fashions 1 He was too severe for the moderate 
Calvinists of Connecticut and Massachusetts ; will he not be a foreign 
element among the formalists and dilettanti of Newport ? 

Still he found here many attractions. He felt more religious lib- 
erty in Rhode Island than he could feel elsewhere, and religious 
liberty he loved. He had access to the rich library of Dr. Stiles, 
and to the still more extensive Redwood Library,! which was then, 
as now, a treasure to the town. But, above all, — for this he valued 
more than all, — he " found here a number who appeared to be ex- 
cellent Christians, and the best regulated church that he had seen." \ 

To the care of this church he addressed himself with fresh zeal. 
He says, in condensed language : 

" I preached a lecture every Thursday evening, which was well attended. 
I invited the young people to meet at my house, the males on one week and 
the females on the next ; and so to continue to meet every week alternately, 
to have questions projjosed to them, which they were to answer, &c. Above 
forty young men subscribed to an engagement to attend those meetings ; and 
more than seventy young women. After those meetings were attended a 
considerable time, I proposed that instead of these, which began to aechnc, I 
would attend a lecture every Sabbath evening at six o'clock in the meeting- 
house, in wliicli I would explain to the young people the Shorter Catechism, 
composed by the Assembly of Divines at Westminster ; the young people 
to sit by themselves in the body of the meeting-house below, and elder 
people, who were disposed to come, to sit in the gallery and the pews round 
the sides of the house below. These lectures were crowded ; the congregation 
being larger then than at the meetings in the former part of the day, as num- 
bers attended them from other congregations in town. And the young people 
appeared attentive, gave constant attendance, and behaved decently. — When 
I had gone through the Catechism in this way, I undertook to give a historji 
of the Bible, in. a course of lectures, endeavoring to join entertainment with 
instruction, and relif,nous, profitable reflections, particularly applicable to 
young persons. These lectures were continued, and well attended, till they 
were broken up by the war between Britain and America." § 

In the year 1771, he admitted fifteen members into his church ; 

* See America Dissected, &c., in Sniuiry Letters from a Clergyman there. Updike's 
History of the Episcopal Church in Narraganset, pp. 483-533. 

t He was made an honorary member of the Redwood Library Company, in 1770. 
His own church also possessed a valuable collection of books. 

X Sketches, p. G9. 

§ lb. pp. lb, 7G. He established his Thursday evening lecture July 6, 1770. 


in 1772, four members; in 1774, three; in 1775, five; and, durin*^ 
his whole ministry, fifty-nine members, of whom six were received 
by letter. At the time of his death, thirty others were expecting to 
be soon added to his church. He catechised, weekly, more than a 
hundred children. Before he became pastor of the church, it had 
been numerically declinin<r.* Its more pious members considered 
its existence as dependent upon his connection with it. His cor- 
respondence iind church records evince that a new impulse was given 
to it during the first six years of his pastorate ; new rules of eccle- 
siastical order and a new creed were formed ; new arrangements 
were made for the care of the poor, for the music of the sanctuary, 
etc. This was evidently the sunniest period of his ministerial life. 
In a letter to Dr. Bellamy, dated January 8, 1771, he says : 

" My lecture is well attended yet, and there are some instances of awaken- 
ing among us. Several hope they have been converted lately, in my con- 
gregation. So far as I can judge, my congregation in general are more and 

more pleased. But many of the are more and more 

alirmed, as some doctrines wliich I preach are destructive of tlie religion most 
in vogue among them. While you are all in quarrels, in Connecticut, and 
Hopkintonicms are cursed with bell, book, and candle, Divine Providence has 
led me out of the noise, and provided a quiet retreat, where all is peace, and 
I receive more kindness from the hands of my friends in one year than I 
ever received in my life before." 

On the 2d of April, 1773, we find him at the ordination of 
Mr. Sanford, at Medway, and, on the 21st of that same month, 
at the ordination of Mr. Emmons, at Franklin — two young men 
over whom he was destined to exert a long-continued power. We 
often catch glimpses of him walking with his guests. Dr. Bellamy 
and Dr. West, to dine with President Stiles ; or else calling on 
President Stiles's guests, Mr. Whittlesey and Dr. Dana, of New 
Haven. Still, even at this most comfortable and most flattering 
period of his ministry, we find him faithful as ever in purifying the 
house of God. He sought not his own ease. He might have re- 
tained a pleasant degree of popularity, if he had aimed to please 
men. But he was artless as a child. In a little more than two 
months after he was installed, he became engaged in a process of 
discipline with a member of his church. The entire process con- 
tinued until December 5, 1774. It resulted in the exclusion of the 
delinquent member from the Lord's table. But that member was him- 
self a clergyman, and enlisted other ministers in his fiivor. He in- 
sisted that his own conduct and that of Mr. Hopkins, and of promi- 
nent individuals in the church, should be reviewed by a council. The 
council unanimously decided that the otiending clergyman ought to 
have been excluded from fellowship, and that he had proved nothing 

* May 31, 1770, his congregation consisted of a hundred and tliirty-five families; his 
church, of seventy members, and of these, less than twenty were males. 


" in any measure " injurious to the " ministerial or Christian charac- 
ter " of Mr. Hopkins. It is easy to see, liowever, that such unflinching 
perseverance, and such rigid faithfulness, as were manifested in this 
disciplinary process, M'ere fitted to exalt the moral feelings of a 
church, rather than to make its pastor a favorite with the world. 
He exposed himself to the charge of severity in his treatment of 
oflfending brethren, and particularly in requiring of them a public 
confession of their sin. It must be confessed that he abhorred 
iniquity, and expressed his abhorrence with decision, and thus, even, 
if he had been identified with no peculiarities of doctrine, would 
have given ofi'ence. But his severity came from his benevolence. 
" My desire," he says, during the tedious process of this discipline, 
" my desire of usefulness to this congregation is so great, that I am 
willing to sacrifice every personal and family interest to this. In 
this cause I think I am willing to give my life, and every thing dear 
to me in this world." 


It is pleasant to open the curtains of the past, and look upon our 
Newport minister, as, four months after his installation, he was en- 
joying a visit from Mr. Wliitefield. Hopkins had listened with de- 
light to Whitefield thirty years before, at New Haven ; and on the 
3d of August, 1770, welcomed him as a guest at the old Newport 
parsonage. At five o'clock, on the afternoon of August 4, Wliite- 
field " preached to a very crowded audience at Mr. Hopkins's meet- 
ing-house," from Ps. li. 11 : " Take not thy Holy Spirit from me." 
A young Jewess heard him, " and greatly admired his preaching the 
gospel of Christ." On the next Vnorning, the Sabbath, he preached 
for Dr. Stiles, from Job xxii. 21 : " Acquaint now thyself with him, 
and be at peace." At six o'clock in the afternoon, he preached 
from 1 Cor. iii. 11, in the fields adjoining Mr. Hopkins's meeting-, to a thousand or fifteen hundred hearers. While preaching, 
he stood on a table, which is still reverently preserved. On the 7th 
of August, he preached at five o'clock, P. M., from Zech. ix. 12, at 
Mr. Thurston's Baptist meeting-house, to an audience of thirteen liiui- 
dred within the walls, and four or five hundred without. After preacl.- 
ing, he dined at Major Otis's, with Mr. Hopkins, and Mr. Thurston, 
and Dr. Stiles. At six o'clock on the next morning, he preached, from 
Gen. i. 2, to eleven hundred hearers, in Mr. Hopkins's meeting-house. 
After service, he dined with Messrs. Hopkins, Thurston, Stiles, and 
Rusmeyer, the Moravian pastor in Newport, at the house of Mr 
John Wanton, a Quaker.* In the afteinoon, he left for Providence, 
and before two months had passed away, he died in Newburyport. 

* The facts above staled are taken from Stilcs's Literary Diary. The calculations, 
perhaps extravagant with regard to the number of Whitefield's hearers, were the com- 
mon calculations of the time. 


While Mr. Whitefield was at Newport, he was invited, with Mr. 
Hopkins and others, " to breakfast with a rehgious family, about five 
miles from town. On their way, Mr. Whitefield said to Mr. H., ' I 
am sorry that you New England ministers employ so much of your 
time in controversy. [A remark often repeated since Whitefield's 
time.] I wish you would devote your attention more immediately 
to the conversion of sinners.' Mr. H. replied, 'I have not pubhshed 
so large a pamphlet in the way of dispute as yours against Mr. 
Wesley.' [A fit reply, to which Whitefield rejoined,] ' O, the doc- 
trine of Mr. Wesley was so contrary to the faith, and so dangerous, 
that a regard for the cause of Chl'ist compelled me to attempt its 
refutation.' ' The same motive,' said Mr. H., ' may have influenced 
others ; it certainly did me in what I have written.' [An apt retort.] 
After a considerable pause, Mr. Whitefield said, ' Is it not surprising, 
and much to be regretted, that good Mr. Edwards should deny the 
witness of the Spirit ? ' Mr. H. replied, ' I did not know that he had. 
What do you understand, sir, by the witness of the Spirit?' Mr. 
W. paused in apparent study for a definition. Mr. H. said, ' Do 
you mean by it an impression on the imagination, by some immediate 
communication from the Spirit, that your sins are forgiven, and that 
you are a child of God ? ' ' No,' said Mr. W., ' that does not ex- 
press my opinion.' ' Do you then mean,' said Mr. H., ' an influence 
of the Spirit of God, exciting such a love for God and Jesus Christ, 
such clear views of their character, as that the subject of it knows 
from experience and from Scripture, that he is a child of God and 
an heir of salvation ? ' ' This,' said Mr. W., ' more accords with 
my views.' 'Yet this,' said Mr. H., 'is that witness of the Spirit for 
which Mr. Edwards pleads, in distinction from the former, whi^h he 
represents as a species of enthusiasm.'" * 

This conversation well illustrates the Socratic method of Mr. 
Hopkins in conducting a dispute. 


More is known of Mr. Hopkins's inner life during the first six 
years of his residence at Newport, than during any. other period of 
his history. And the first impression which his correspondence 
during this period makes upon the mind is, that he was a man not 
only of glowing love to his Maker, but likewise of warm and deep 
affection to his fellow-men. As he delighted in unreserved submis- 
sion of all his interests to God, so he chose to sacrifice himself for 
the welfare of those who were made in the image of God. The 
germ of his theology lay in his benevolent spirit. He was an em- 
bodied refutation of the saying so often quoted from Edmund Burke, 

• Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 67, 68. See likewise Ferguson's Memoir, pp. 52, 53. 


that there is no heart so hard as that of a thorough-bred metaphysi- 
cian. One reason why he loved to press certain articles of Calvin- 
ism to their logical sequences was, that he loved to contemplate 
t'le happiness of his fellow-men as they were swallowed up in the 
iilory of their Father in heaven. True, he had so much of the 
philosophical temperament that he expressed his feelings less easily 
and readily than some do, and he often appeared, to men who did 
not know him, impassible and stern ; but that there was a heart 
beating with strong and quick pulsations in his giant frame, is shown 
in many of his letters, and especially in those which he wrote during 
the meridian of his life. It must be acknowledged that some of his 
correspondence is too affectionate to be sj)read out before the multi- 
tude, wlio choose to complain of liim as dried up and ossified. It is 
delightful to notice the style in which he often begins or closes his 
epistles, and which betrays his unconscious struggling for words to 
express his pent-up attachments. The following are specimens, from 
his letters to various friends.* 

"... I am, with great sincerity, high esteem, and constant, warm 
affection and gratitude, your real friend and ready servant, S. H." 

"... Suffer me to say, I prize the interest I have in your heart more 
than the possession of the whole world ; and hope always to be, with growing 
esteem and affection, your obliged friend, S. IL" 

"... My heart is affected with [this] fresh instance of your gen- 
erosity, benevolence, and friendship. I give you thanks ; and would have you 
believe that my breast glows with a gratitude which words cannot express, 
and that I prize the gift cliiefly for the sake of the giver, and as a fresh token 
of your love and friendship. Verily, you shall have your reward. I please 
myself with a particular remembrance in your prayers, while absent on my 
proposed journey ; and may assure you that I sliall remember you, with other 
dear Cliristian friends, so far as I remember myself, at least. With the best 
wishes I am capable of, and tender affection and gratitude, I am your very 
unworthy, greatly obliged friend and servant, S. H." 

"... As words only will not tell how much I esteem and prize you, 
bow dear you are to me as a Christian friend, — and all words are vain with- 
out a conduct answerable, — I think not to attempt to tell. May all my con- 
duct in the station in which God has set me, testify how much I esteem you, 
and prize your friendship and prayers. O, how wonderful is God in his good- 
ness ! I have been affected with his goodness for many years, in giving me 
such Christian friends ; which I valued as the greatest favor in life, and for 
which I have daily blessed God, and have had ardent desires to continue in 
this his goodness. That you should have such exercises and pleasure, in 
giving thanks to God for his goodness to and by me, is greatly pleasing and 
affecting. May all your pious, benevolent wishes and prayers be answered ! 
Want of time forbids my adding, except that I am, with high esteem, and 
constant, tender atfection, your obliged friend, and willing servant, S. H." 

"... I thank you a thousand tunes for your last kind letter. I only 
write a line now, to ease and give a little pleasure to my own heart, by 
expressing a little of my esteem and love, and the great obligations I feel 

* The affection of 3Ir. Hopkins for his fellow-laborers, drew from them a like affcr- 
tion. We are pleased in seeing' that Dr. Samuel Spring becomes even poetical in 
expressing his love to his^ instructor ; and not only commends his obituary notice of Mr. 
Hopkins " to candidates for the ministry, to whom he imparted his advice and heart,'' 
hut also " to his attending angels, who guarded his bed when he fell asleep." See 
M'fl'^s'rlinseUs Missionary Magazine, vol. i. p. 364. 


myself under to you, and the sense I have of the privilege and happiness of 
this dear friendship." 

"... God's goodness to you does give me joy. For this I have 
many times greatly rejoiced, and hope to rejoice in it forever." 

"... If there is any thing right in my heart, it often most sensibly 
appears in its readiness to unite to the dear people of God, and desiring and 
delighting in their love and friendship." 

"... I thank you a thousand times for your kindness, and [for the] 
freedom you use in writing. I pray you to continue it. My heart is dis- 
posed to love, esteem, and honor you, and I hope I shall forever be your 
much obliged friend, S. H." 

"... I rejoice in the exercises and enjoyments of my dear friend, 
while your kind Shepherd is feeding you in green, soft pastures, and leading you 
by still waters. I trust God is with me in some sense and degree at times, in 
answer to your prayers ; winch requires the most humble, thankful acknowl- 
edgments from me, while I confess and lament my awful barrenness. It has 
often been observed, that God can feed his children by a raven. How disa- 
greeable is separation ! — not being allowed to meet my dear friends as 
usual ! How happy they who know what true friendship is, and shall be 
brought together never to part again ! In hope of this happiness, I rest, yours, 
in the bonds of the most sacred friendship, S. H." 

"... Excuse the scantiness of this, and suffer me yet to place myself 
among your most sincere, cordial, obliged, affectionate friends. I hope and 
trust I shall be so, as long as I am S. Hopkins." 

Can we wonder, that a man who had so strong attachments to 
his fellow-men, delighted also in using the strongest expressions of 
love to the great King; in surrendering all interests to him, for 
this world and the next ; in exalting him as a Sovereign, high 
above all creatures? This is Hopkinsianism, as it appears in its 
original defenders. We have heard much of " the Arctic regions 
of Hopkinsianism," of its " hyperborean wildernesses." Such re- 
marks are forcible. But the men who originated the Hopkinsian 
peculiarities were men of warm hearts as well as cool heads. The 
doctrines and the spirit of their system are indicated in the following 
statement of one who knew the private habits of the Newport divine, 
and testifies that " he would sometimes come from his study, where 
he had been intensely engaged in the contemplation of the law made 
lionorable and magnified by the atonement, and would walk across 
his parlor floor for the space of two or three hours, pressing his 
hands together in the most ravishing delight, and seemingly in such 
an ecstasy as to be unable to contain himself." * Stern as he was in 
his logical processes, he would often weep in the pulpit and at the 
communion table, so as to make his utterance indistinct. 


The discouraging influence of the Canadian wars upon the minis- 
ter of Great Harrington has been noticed already. His heart was 

* Statement of Mrs. Hopkins, as found in Ferguson's Memoir, p. 131. 

90 MEMOIR. ' 

far more saddened, however, by the effect of the revolutionary war 
upon his jiastorate in Rhode Island. He was in a patriotic and 
resohite httle colony. It claims to have struck the first blow result- 
ing in the revolution. The British armed sloop Liberty was scut- 
tled and burned, in defiance of the crown, by the people of Newport, 
as early as August, 1769. The armed schooner Gaspee was de- 
stroyed by them in June, 17T2. The tea was not thrown overboard 
ill Boston harbor until 1773. Newport burned with a revolutionary 
spirit, during all the disputes which preceded the general resort to 
ru-ms. Its harbor was early blockaded by the British. In Decem- 
ber, 1776, the British troops, numbering eight or ten thousand, com- 
manded by General Clinton and Lord Percy, took possession of the 
town. There were many Tories in the place ; but the Whigs, as 
many as were able, fled to the inland retreats. It was of no use 
for the clergy to reniain. Dr. Stiles left on the 13th of March, 177G. 
IMr. Hopkins sent his family to Great Barrington two years before ; 
but, true to his instinct of holding on to the last, he himself clung to 
Newport until the Decembci' of '76. Some of his congregation, who 
remained in the town, were imprisoned by the enemy. His par- 
sonage was destroyed by the British troops. Ilis meeting-house was 
used as a barrack and hospital. Its pulpit and j)ews were demol- 
ished, its windows were broken or lost, and its bell was carried 
away by the enemy evacuating the town. In the same manner did 
the British treat every church edifice, except the Episcopal, in the 
place. During the cold weather, they were quartered in the private 
iiouscs of tlie town, and did much to annoy those inhabitants who 
had not escaped from the siege. They cut dovv'n for fuel the groves 
of forest-trees, and the rich fruit and ornamental trees which had 
every where adorned the island. They injured or destroyed the 
fences and wharves of the town. When they left it, in October, 
1779, " the general appearance of the greater portion of the buildings 
was truly distressing ; sashes and glass mostly gone, and windows 
l)oar(led up, with here and there a solitary square of glass cut into 
the boarding, and often not more than one square to a window." * 
About four hundred and eighty buildings had been destroyed. In 
the spring of 1780, Mr. Hopkins returned to his desolate parish, 
after an absence of more than three years. If, like Dr. Stiles, he 
had never returned, he would not have been blamed by the world. 
Many of his congregation had made their permanent homes else- 
where. The remainder were impoverished and dejected. The 
town, also, having lost its wealth, a full half of its population, and 
nearly all its eminent capitalists, lost therewith its public spirit. All 
the rehgious societies received a severe shock, under which some of 

* Memoir of Rhode Island, by Henry Bull, Esq., in the Rhode Island Republicem, 
No. 1460. 


them, as the Sabbatarian and the Jewish, languished until they died. 
Nor was poverty the sole evil. After the British had retained 
possession of the place nearly three years, the French army were 
stationed there about nine months. The French officers instilled 
their infidel principles into some of the best minds of Newport, and 
thus left an influence which Mr. Hopkins toiled through his remain- 
ing life to counteract. Thus at Newport, as well as at Great Bar- 
rington, did this patriotic minister suffer with and for his country. 
After the revolution, he was obliged to accommodate himself to a 
new style of character and of manners. The old, rich families had 
been scattered, never to reassemble at Newport, or else had been 
denuded of their possessions, or else had been supplanted by the 
young republicans whom our independence had called up from 
obscure life. At the age of sixty, he was not supple enough to com- 
ply with those peculiar democratic changes which the revolution 
introduced into the Narraganset country. He lived through a part 
of two singularly different ages there. He could have labored more 
effectively had there been no such transition ; for he was less flexible 
than strong. 

When this indefatigable man returned to his parish, he conducted 
public worship at first in a private house, afterward in the Sabbata- 
rian meeting-house. But, complying with a vote of his church, he 
wrote, in 1782, a pathetic appeal to his Christian friends, "in Boston 
and Connecticut States," for aid in repairing his own church edifice, 
and also sustaining in it the ordinances of the gospel. Dr. Spring's 
churcli at Newburyport responded to this appeal, in a donation of 
eighteen pounds ; the Federal Street Church, of the same place, sent 
liim twenty-eight pounds ; and the church of Professor Peres Fobes, 
of Raynham, sent a pulpit. Still the poor man received no regular 
salary for himself. During the first year after his return, his society 
did not even dare to take up a contribution for his support. At tlie 
close of that year, he was invited and urged to settle in the ministry 
at Middleboro', Massachusetts, where he could be well remuner- 
ated. His affectionate people, however, entreated him to remain, 
and promised to make sacrifices for his sustenance. He complied 
with their wishes; but, at the end of three and a half years from his 
return, when the expenses of living were unusually high,* he wrote 
to his church a pitiful letter, informing them that he had been, during 
their past discouragements, " loath to complain and make known [his] 
wants to the congregation ; " and had been compelled to use for his 

* In his letters written during this period, Mr. Hopkins often describes tire suffering 
of the Newport poor, especially for fuel. The British had made such havoc with the 
forests, that, during the winter after their departure, wood was sold for twenty dollars 
per cord. Corn was sold at four dollars per bushel. See Memoir of Rhode Island, by 
Henry Bull, Esq., in the Rhode Island Republican, No. 1460. This, however, was an 
uocommonly severe winter, and expenses were subsequently reduced. 


^^ house-rent and a suit of clothes,'''' and for the support of his family, 
a portion of the ninety-eight pounds which had been sent by Chris- 
tians in other places for the support of the gospel at Newport. His 
church, burdened with the care of its poor laymen, justified its pastor 
in this appropriation, which he had been compelled to make for the 
sustenance of his household ; yet how humiliating that such a man 
should be reduced to such penury ! * 

It is well known that Mr. Hopkins has been blamed for not raising 
up his church from this depressed condition, for not rolling back the 
tide of infidelity which had set in from France, for not rousing the 
energies of his dispirited people. He has been thus blamed by the 
very men who believe that God is a Sovereign in the bestowment of 
spiritual, as well as temporal blessings. All preachers have not the 
same aifts ; and although we may suppose that a Bellamy would 
have attracted large audiences in Newport, after the revolution, we 
cannot think it strange, that a student, like Hopkins?, between the 
age of sixty-three and that of eighty-three, failed to restore his con- 
gregation to its former prosperity. They remained poor. He lived 
and died poor. Let us now consider his " disinterested benevolence." 


He was an optimist. His theology made him such. "He was 
an illustration," says Dr. Channing, " of the power of our spiritual 
nature. In narrow circumstances, with few outward indulgences, in 
great seclusion, he yet found much to enjoy. He lived in a world 
of thought, above all earthly pa.=sions." — " It has been my privilege 
to meet with other examples of the same character ; with men who, 
amidst privation, under bodily infirmity, and with none of those 
materials of enjoyment which the multitude are striving for, live in 
a world of thought, and enjoy what affluence never dreamed of, — 
men having nothing and yet possessing all things ; and the sight of 
such has done me more good, has spoken more to my head and 
heart, than many stirmons and volumes. I have learned the suffi- 
ciency of the mind to itself, its independence on outward things." f 
There is something truly sublime in the record which Hrtpkins has 
left of his scholarly and Christian independence, after his church 
had been enfeebled by the war. His words are : 

" I then concluded to stay at Newport, and my wife and one daughter came 
to live with me, as the rest of my chiJdren were otherwise settled. There was 

* We feel a humiliation of the same kind, when Hopkins describes to us the pecu- 
niary prospects of President Edwards, aud says : '• His correspondents and other 
friends in Scotland, hearing of his dismission, and fearing it might be the means of 
bringing him into worldly straits, generously contributed a handsome sum, and sent it 
over to him." 

\ Works, vol. iv. pp. 352, 353. 


no particular sum mentioned which the}"^ [{. e., my society] would give ; and 
thus I have lived ever since, receiving- what has been given by a weekly con- 
tribution and donations which particular friends have made. I have taken 
care not to run in debt for the necessaries of life, thoutrh frequently if a dol- 
lar extraordinary had been called for, it would have rendered nie a bankrupt. 
I have endeavored to live as cheap and low as I could, and be comfortable, 
and answer the ends of living in my station and business ; and have experi- 
enced, flirougii a course of years, remarkable interpositions in divine Provi- 
dence, by whicii I have been supplied with the necessaries of life in Avays 
unthought of; and have been preserved from suffering, for want of food or 
raiment, whether I received loss or more.* When more than common has 
been given, calls for living have been equally greater ; and when I have re- 
ceived but little, there has been a less demand for necessaries to support the 
family, and less has been as sufficient as more. This has made me often 
think of what is said of the children of Israel, with respect to the manna on 
which they lived : 'He that gathered much had nothing over, and he that 
gathered little had no lack.' I have been saved from anxiety about living, 
and have liad a thousand times less care and trouble about the world, than if 
I had [enjoyed] a great abundance, and been in high life, attended with ser- 
vants, equipage, much company, entertainments, and high living. Being thus 
freed froui worldly care and anxiety, endeavoring to cast my care on God 
with respect to living, not seeking great things in the world, and being in a 
great measure unconnected with the great and rich in the world, and gay, un- 
profitable company, I have had more time to attend to my studies, in which, 
and in a retired life, I have taken the greatest pleasure ; and particularly 
liave had leisure to write my ' System of Divinity,' which I hope will not prove 
useless," f 

There was, indeed, a close connection between his " System of 
Divinity" and liis freedom from avarice. He was not tempted to 
shape his books for the market. No divine has been more free 
from even a latent wish to trim his words, so as to suit or to get 
purchasers. He felt no inducement to discard a plain term, or to 
adopt a vague term, to search out ambiguous phrases on critical ques- 
tions, to favor a popular, when he did not regard it a true, doctrine, 
for the sake of gaining that filthy lucre which, in the theological 
world, is the root of much evil. This fact gives an immense value 
to his writings. They are the writings of a spiritual and* honest 
man. Their autliority would be lessened, if they had come from a 
soul blunted and debased by a passion for wealth ; if they had been 
published, not to be the fair exponents of his inward faith, but to be 
sold, — as Voltaire confessed that he himself " wrote history, not to 
be believed, but to be read." 

Equally noble does this freedom from avarice appear in Hopkins, 
as a pastor. He was frequently receiving offers of eligible stations 
in Massachusetts and Connecticut, but he chose to suffer affliction 
for the good of his people. A few weeks after his return to New- 
port, during the revolutionary war, he writes to Dr. West : 

* Mr. Ferguson says that Hopkins was never inclined to inquire into the " sincerity 
o( those who sohcilcd charity. It was enough for him, if they were willing' to beg; and 
in his own deep poverty, he thanked God that he was never solicited when he had 
nothing to give away." — MS. letter. 

t Sketches, pp. 79-81. 


" I am fallen into new trials by coming here. My people are poor, and 
tiave but little courage. The other inhabitants of the town, almost to a man, 
are enemies to our prosperity. The leading people of Dr. Stiles's congrega- 
tion have heartily wished I might never return again, and hoped my congre- 
gation would join with them in settling a man whom they should like. They 
are resolved not to hear me, as they dislike my doctrines in general, and es- 
*^ pecially my opposition to the slavery of Africans. They are determined to 
have preaching among themselves, and have applied to Dr. Stiles to send 
them a candidate. My people have not courage enough to attempt to fix our 
meeting-house, so as to be fit for us to meet there. We hold public worship 
in the Seventh-day [Baptist] mcoting-house, which, though small, is big enough 
for us, in our diminished state. But what is worst of all, there is a general 
stupidity and carelessness about the important things of religion, and the minds 
of the people are more filled with the cares of this world, than they were 
when I left them ! In a word, we are as a valley of dry bones, very dry, and 
God only knows whether we shall live." 

Still he continued, without faltering, to preacli the same unpopu- 
lar doctrines, in defiance of penury. After a brief interval, he had 
Dr. Stiles's congregation as his hearers. Unable to sustain a pastor 
for themselves, they continued to worship with the First Church * 
until 1786, when they invited Dr. Patten to become their minister. 
But Dr. Patten was unwilling to be an instrument of reducing tlie 
audience and the pecuniary support of Dr. Hopkins, and there- 
fore " waited on Dr. Hopkins, and informed him of the call, and 
assured him, if by accepting it he should injure his interest, or hurt 
his feelings, he would refuse. He replied, that he wished him to 
accept ; that it was best for the two societies to be separate." f How 
easy it would have been for Hopkins to deprive the Second Church 
of their expected pastor, and thus continue them as subscribers to 
his maintenance ! But he was disinterested. And it is here deserv- 
ing of remark, that he soon attached Dr. Patten to himself, as a son 
to a father ; and never were two colleagues better united than they, 
in belief as well as affection. 

It is a pleasing fact, that nearly all the letters of Hopkins to 
his friends are either theological, or else contain some benevolent 
proposal for the relief of the poor or distressed. About a half cen- 
tury after his death, he was thus mentioned by one who, when a 
child, was acquainted with his manner of life : 

" The doctrine of disinterested benevolence, which was the deep-lying 
principle of his system, had, in his life and his character, constant and practi- 
cal illustration. His society was small, and its means not large. Well do I 
remember the simple, unpainted parsonage, and the testimony every body bore 
to the daily and self-sacrificing charity of the pastor. He accepted literally 
the saying of St. Paul, that he was ready to be [accursed] for the glory of 
God: how willing was he to 'sell all, and to give to the poor!' It was 
the custom then to go to ' look on the fiice of the dead ; ' and though very 
young, I went with others to see this patriarch saint in his coffin. The mem- 
ory of hun then, and of his exhaustless love, kindness, and charity, is fresher 

* See p. 82 of this Memoir. t Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 91, 92. 


with me than are any of the peculiar doctrinal views which, in his great in- 
firmity and age, he gave to us from the pulpit." * 


From December, 1770, until the spring of 1781, Mr. Hopkins 
labored in Massachusetts and Connecticut. We have already seen t 
that a large donation was sent to his church from Newburyport, in 
1783. This was, in part, an acknowledgment of his services there 
during the summer af 1777. On the 19th of June in that year, he 
writes to Dr. West : 

" I have engaged to preach here to the congregation [now Federal Street] 
to which Mr. Parsons used to minister, for some time, perhaps all summer. 
It is, I suppose, the largest congregation on the continent. A groat door 
and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. I have 
concluded I have a call to stay here for the present, as there seems to be a 
prospect of doing good among a people who are not so much prejudiced 
against the truth as many are, and yet most of thom are much in the dark. I 
hope there is a considerable number of good Christians here. I am disposed 
to make the prayer of the Psalmist, [cxix. 79,] ' Let those that fear thee turn 
unto me, and those that have known thy testimonies.' If I may be useful to 
these, by expounding unto them the way of God more perfectly, I sliall be 
happy ; and who knows but the heart of some poor sinner may be opened by 
Christ to attend to the truths that sliall be spoken ? As I have now, in some 
degree, the charge of such a nniltitude of souls, it has brought a new burden 
upon me. Who is sufficient for these things ? The aftliir of baptism seems 
to be settled between Mr. Spring and the people, who have given him a call, 
they having nothing wherewith to oppose him. But another peril yet more 
dreadful, if possible, is come into view, viz., tinrcgenerate doins^s. Mr. Spring 
is determined to preacli on the subject next Sabbath, and open his mind fully. 
It is most probable they will not set up ag;iinst him in tliis, and that he will 
settle among them, and I hope will be greatly useful in this town." \ 

The hope which Mr. Hopkins indulged, of being u.seful to some 
one of his new charge, was gratified ; and it is curious to trace the 
lines througli which his influence upon a single hearer was dissem- 
inated, at length, over multitudes whom he never knew. That 
hearer was Miss Abigail Goodhue, then a young lady of twenty-one 
years. Her biographer says of lier : 

" She had a mind to appreciate, and a heart to receive instructions like 
those communicated by Mr. Hopkins — clear, deep, comprehensive, and 

* A Lecture delivered before the Mechanics Apprentices' Library Associaiion, .Fau- 
uary, 1815, by Walter Channlng, M. D., IJoston, Massachusetts. 

t See p. 9L 

t Both ftlr. Hopkins and Mr. Spring encountered much opposition in the town during 
this summer. Rev. S. P. Williams says, in his Historical Account of the Federal 
Street Cliurch, that " although some few of his [Mr. H.'s] tenets were peculiarly' odious 
to the church and congregation, he was beard with candor during liic whole period of 
his engagement." Tlie suliject of baptism was one of the main causes of dissension ; 
and on that subject the majority of evangelical Christians would now coincide with Mr. 
Hopkins, rather than with his opponents in that controversy. 


strongly doctrinal. She heard him with profound attention, and was greatly 
aifected with his preaching. Though a stranger, he soon marked the interest 
with which she listened to the word of life, and concluded that she was either 
a young disciple or a serious inquirer on the subject of religion. He sought 
an acquaintance with her. 

" The first inter\new is thus described [by Miss Goodhue] : ' My mind was 
solemn, but not quite free from perturbation, wliich being noticed by Mr. Hop- 
kins, he conversed for a few moments in a free and condescending manner, 
when my fears left me. He was now ready to introduce tlie subject he had 
so much at heart. He asked me how the trutlis I liad lieard him deliver 
affected my mind ; whether I had any hope that I had experienced a renova- 
tion of heart ; how long I had been serious ; whether I did not think it my 
duty to unite with some church. In person lie was large, in mien dignified, 
and his open, manly countenance beamed sweet benignity and benevolence. 
I loved him as a father, and revered him as a messenger of God, sent to com- 
fort my desponding heart. I wanted to conceal nothing of my spiritual trials ; 
and he attended to all my perplexities with paternal interest.' This interview, 
and others, were remembered by her with gratitude during life. Speaking 
of a pastoral visit made by Mr. Hopkins at the house of Mrs. Coombs, she 
says, ' His conversation was condescending and kind, and before he left us 
he prayed in a feeling and solemn manner. Indeed, he seemed to me more 
like his divine Master than any one I had ever seen.' " * 

After Mr. Hopkins left Newburyport, he wrote a letter to Miss Goodhue, and 
enclosed in it one from his daughter. Miss Goodhue thus speaks of the inci- 
dent : " I was affected with this token of fatherly affection, and soon returned 
an answer. Is not this good man's finding a poor, disconsolate orphan, as 
I was, in a large assembly, and pouring cordials into my fainting heart, a 
token for good ? Trust in God, O my soul, for I shall yet praise him." 

" How long the correspondence by letter continued," remarks her biogra- 
pher, " I do not know ; but the Christian friendship between this servant of 
Christ and 'a desolate orphan' continued so long as he lived, and, doubtless, 
is since perpetuated in a better world. She confided in his friendship and 
judgment, drank in his instructions, and followed his counsels. And certainly 
they had a decided influence upon her future life. In accordance with the 
advice of Mr. Hopkins, she attended meeting in the North Church, where 
Rev. Samuel Spring had been settled." f 

After listening to the discourses of Dr. Spring about thirteen years, Miss 
Goodhue spent a winter in the family of his brother-in-law. Dr. Emmons, and 
there was affianced to Rev. K. Bayley, then a theological student of Dr. Em- 
mons. After her marriage to him, she lived nearly twenty-seven years at 
Newcastle, Maine, where she adorned the vocation of a pastor's wife. She 
was particularly useful to the young men in Newcastle Academy, more than 
a liundred of whom boarded, at different times, in her house, and some of 
whom became interested there in religious truth. She was a friend and cor- 
respondent of some distinguished literati. She was among the first to labor 
for the establishment of a theological school at Bangor. Her husband " had 
as much agency, perhaps, as any other man, in the founding of our seminary," 
says one of its most intelligent friends. And Mrs. Bayley's biographer re- 
cords of her and of two other ladies with whom she cooperated : " But for 
their prayers and influence, perhaps the theological institution of Bangor 
might not have been established." | In 1814, she writes : " Blessed be God 
for honoring me, unworthy as I am, with giving the first mite to the treasurer 
for [Bangor seminary.] This was the freewill offering of a number of fe- 
males in different places, whose hearts the Lord has made to feel for their 

* See Memoir of Mrs. Abigail Bayley, [formerly Miss Goodhue,] a Pilgrim of Ninety 
Years, by Daniel O. Morton, A. M.. author of " The Life of Rev. Levi Parsons," pp. 

t lb. pp. 34, 35. t lb. p. 145. 


fellow immortals. The Lord bless them individually with his special love. 
The little sum was one hundred and sixty dollars. The Lord make it to m- 
crease a thousand fold. Blessed be God for makinof me his almoner." * 
" Mrs. Bayley persevered," adds her biographer, " in this labor of love, tdl 
she had collected and paid to the treasurer of the Maine Theological Semi- 
nary, nearly two thousand dollars." 

It is ail interestinf? fact, that four others who were among the first 
in project! iig that school of the prophets were Hopkinsian divines. 
Still more interesting is the fact, that all the professors who have 
taught systematic theology there, have been recognized as Hopkin- 
siaiis. Is it too much to say, that the Rhode Island pastor, when 
tie spent the summer of 1777 in Newburyport, was exerting an in- 
fluence, real, though indirect and remote, on the seminary of Maine ? 
He made deep and lasting impressions, when he made any ; and 
when we remember the wonderful modes in which moral influence 
is perpetuated and diffused, is it visionary to surmise, that he also 
gave some impulses, then and there, which aftected the seminary at 
Andover ? He aided the most vigorous projector of that institu- 
tion, Dr. Spring, in his incipient troubles at Newburyport. He 
maintained, until his dying day, a regular correspondence with friends 
ill that goodly place. He made an impression on the community to 
which Moses Brown and William Bartlet belonged, and these two 
men were munificent founders of the seminary. They revered his 
memory, t and their interest in the Andover school resulted from 
impressions like those, if not precisely and in any degree from those, 
which he made upon themselves and their townsmen. 

The winter of 1777-8 he passed in Canterbury, Connecticut, 
" preaching to a destitute congregation there." During the spring 
and summer of 1778, he supplied the pulpit of his deceased class- 
mate, Rev. Dr. Noah Wells, at Stamford, Connecticut. From the 
autumn of 1778 to the spring of 1780, he preached in North Stam- 
ford, which was then a missionary field. He endeavored to culti- 
vate it by a system of pastoral visitation. But he found here, as 
elsewhere, that the people were afraid of him. " On one occasion he 
called on a family, and as soon as he was descried by the younger 
members of it, they all fled. After sitting some time, he told the 
father that he wished to offer prayer, and to have the youth and 
cliildren called into the room. After much lingering and many ex- 
pressions of timidity, on his part as well as on theirs, he began to 
pray ; and he manifested so much pathos and tenderness, that all 
the members of the family were afiected to tears, and one or two of 

* Pp. lf)2, 1G3. 

t When Hopkins prcaclicd at NcwLuryport, Mr. Brown was in his thirty-fifth year, 
and Mr Bartlet in his thirtieth. The last-named gentleman often expressed to the 
writer his profound regard for Hopkins, Spring, and Emmons. He contributed largely 
to the circulation of Hopkins's works. 


them became, from that interview, personally interested in religion." * 
From his correspondence we learn, that he adopted measures for or- 
ganizing a church in this parish. One was formed soon after he 
removed to his Newport home. 


Although the cliurch of Mr. Hopkins was reduced by the revolu- 
tionary war, it still comprised many eminent Christians. His min- 
isterial success was in edifying saints, more than in converting 
sinners. He may have been a means of as much good in deep- 
ening the piety, as other ministers are in augmenting the number, of 
the converted. " Men are to be weighed, not counted ; " aud he is 
a useful man, who so cultivates the mind and heart of others, as to 
make them models to surviving generations. The world have not 
known how joyful Mr. Hopkins was, in perceiving that the faith of 
the faithful was strengthened, and the wisdom of the wise was in- 
creased, by his instructive sermons. " I know," he writes to one 
who had been reanimated by him in the divine life, — "I knoiij I am 
utterly unworthy of your esteem and friendship, and yet I take a 
peculiar pleasure in it. Your expressions of the benefit you have 
received by my means, are peculiarly affecting, and give me inex- 
pressible pleasure, while they excite thanksgiving to God, and recall 
to my mind the strong cries and tears with which I sought God 
when coming to Newport, that I might be a means of good to his 
dear children here, and feed his sheep and lambs. O, what obliga- 
tions am I under to God ! What encouragement to wait on him, 
and ask the greatest things ! He will outdo all our desires." 

This modest man, in despite of all his charges against himself, 
went even so far as to confess, once at least, in public, that he had 
done some good ; for he says in his Autobiography : 

" But few persons have appeared to have been awakened and converted by 
means of my preaching. The most apparent good it has ever been the means 
of doing, is the instruction, quickening, and comfort of Christians. Many of 
this character, and especially tJiose who have appeared most eminent in dis- 
cerning and Christian experience, have highly approved of my preaching, 
which has been a great support and encouragement to me ; though I have 
been often disposed to attribute their satisfaction and approbation to their high 
relish for the truth, however poor and defective the delivery and exiiibition of 
it may be." f 

Among those who received especial benefit from the discourses of 
this humble preacher, were several pious women, who gave char- 
acter to the religious society of Newport. He had learned of their 
excellence before he ever visited Newport. He had been rather 

* MS. Letter of Rev. H. Fuller. t Pp- 88, 89. 


afraid of them, as he was apt to be of famous women. But he 
gave up his fears, as soon as he saw tlieir worth and usefuhiess. 
We have ah'eady seen that President Stiles aUudes to a certain 
" sorority," who favored Mr. Hopkins's settlement. This was a 
religious association, formed by some females of the First Church, 
as early as 1741. The design of the association was, to promote 
tlie spiritual good of its members, and the general interests of 
religion, by reading, conversation, alms, and especially by prayer. 
Its meetings were held every Wednesday or Thursday afternoon. 
It had a regular presiding officer, and a constitution embracing 
many excellent moral rules. In 1772, it contained more than sixty 
members. Three years before Dr. Hopkins's decease, Mr. Wil- 
liam Gyles gave "the south end of his house" to be the property 
of the society, so long as it should continue to meet " for praying." 
In 1806, it was incorporated by the General Assembly of Rhode 
Island, with the name of the Religious Female Society. This name 
was changed by the same Assembly, in 1826, to the " Osborn So- 
ciety." The association still survives in vigor, after an existence of 
a hundred and ten years, and still holds its regular meetings in the 
Osborn house. The General Assembly of Rhode Island is, perhaps, 
the first legislature in our land, which gave corporate powers to a 
distinctive " Praying Circle." 

The society was formed under the auspices of Mrs. Sarah Osborn, 
a niece of the celebrated Dr. John Guyse, of London. She re- 
mained the first president of the society more than fifty years, and 
had its meetings at her home. She was a remarkable woman. 
Rev. Mr. Prince, of Boston, seeing one of her letters to a female 
friend, in 1755, was so much interested in it, that he secured its 
publication in a pamphlet of fourteen or fifteen octavo pages. It 
passed through three editions. Long before Mr. Hopkins went to 
Newport, Madam Osborn had been esteemed as the spiritual ad- 
viser of tbe church. She retained the delicacy of a woman, and 
yet was consulted by whites and blacks, as if she had been a min- 
ister. When she had become almost blind, her conversations on 
theology were instructive to her pastor, and her Christian example 
was his great joy. Every Saturday afternoon, as long as her de- 
crepitude allowed the privilege, he took tea at her house. She, as 
well as himself, had been wont to spend the last day of the week as 
the " preparation day " for the Sabbath ; and at the close of her 
" fasting and prayer," she gave the results of her solitary medita- 
tion to him who was on the morrow to address the people of God. 
At her death, she left more than fifty volumes in manuscript, the 
smallest of them containing nearly a hundred pages, the larger part 
of them containing more than two hundred ; and some, more than 
three hundred. Dr. Hopkins sjient a year in perusing this mass of 

100 MEMOIR. 

manuscript, and compiling the Biograpliy of its author. This Bi- 
ography has been useful to multitudes. 

In the same house with Madam Osborn lived Miss Susanna An- 
thony, her most intimate friend for more than fifty years. Miss An- 
thony, although inferior to Madam Osborn in personal attractions, 
was equally eminent for her spirit of devotion. Dr. Patten was 
informed by a member of the Praying Circle, that she " would con- 
tinue an hour in prayer, without any hesitance or repetition ; with- 
out any thing redundant or defective ; but [all was] appropriate to 
what appeared to be the objects of prayer, so that they who united 
with lier were sensible of no weariness, nor even conscious of the 
lapse of time." Mr. Hopkins learned from the same source, that 
" it was impossible to convey an adequate idea of the copiousness, 
the pertinence, and the spirit of her prayer." * She, too, was an 
uncommon theologian, and held a protracted correspondence with 
Dr. Levi Hart, of Preston, Connecticut, Dr. West, of Stockbridge, 
and other divines. Her Memoir was published by Dr. Hopkins, 
soon after her death, and an abridged edition of it has been since 
pubUshed by Dr. Pond, of Bangor Theological Seminary. A col- 
lection of her letters was also prepared for the press, by the widow 
of Dr. Hopkins. 

Of Madam Osborn and Miss Anthony, their biographer says : 

" They were, in my judgment, the most eminent female Christians with 
whom I have had any acquaintance. The public, and even Christians, who 
never were acquainted with them, will not, by reading what is published of 
them, have a full and adequate idea of tlieir excellent character. I think it a 
great happiness to have been intimately acquainted with them for near thirty 
years, and to enjoy their friendship and prayers, I hope that what is published 
of thcra will be of great benefit to the church, not only in this generation, but 
in ages yet to come." f 

There were nine or ten other Christians, of rare excellence, in 
that Praying Circle ; as Miss Mary, sister of Susanna Anthony ; 
Mrs. Mason, Miss Elizabeth West, and Miss Mary Donelly. Of the 
person last named, a good judge of character has said, that " she 
continued until her death," which occurred many years after that of 
Dr. Hopkins, " to exert an influence over the church, which greatly 
abridged the labors, while it eminently promoted the usefulness, of 
her pastor. Assembling the sisterhood around her, she exerted a 
controlling influence over them ; it was an influence, too, of the most 
lovely kind, — an influence which brought them around her by the 
ties of affection, wliich entered into all their sympathies, and which 
appeared to be solely exercised in doing good. Might I be allowed 
to bear the same testimony to her memory, which Dr. Hopkins bore 

* Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 63, 64. See also Ferguson's Life of Hopkins, pp. 
92, 93. 

t Sketches of Hopkms's Life, p. 105. 

MEMOIR. 101 

to the memory of Miss Anthony and Mrs. Osborn, I would say, she 
was in person, manners, and character, tlie most interesting and ex- 
cellent female Christian with whom I have ever been acquainted." * 
When we catch a glimpse of Hopkins, walking through one of 
the green and narrow lanes of Newport, to meet these pious women 
at their hour of prayer, and when we afterward think of him as the 
champion of high Calvinism, as putting his adversaries to the rout 
by his stubborn argument, we must feel that he had a great char- 
acter, and combined in an unusual degree the stout antagonist with 
the meek Christian. 


" He was thought by some, who had but a slight acquaintance with him, to 
he stiff and unsociable ; but this Avas owing to want of better acquaintance." 
How groundless the imputation was, " his known and tried friends best knew. 
They always found him easy of access, kind, and condescending ; and though 
not talkative, yet affable and free. Among such, whose candor and friendship 
he had experienced, he threw off the rcserv^e, and was most open and free ; 
quite patient of contradiction, while the utmost opposition was made to his 
sentiments that could be by any plausible arguments or objections. And, in- 
deed, he was, on all occasions, quite sociable and free ■with all who had any 
special business with him." 

So writes Hopkins concerning his theological instructor ; f and 
had he himself not been equally uncommunicative to strangers who 
had no "special business with him," he would have avoided some of 
the misrepresentations which he actually suifered. 

He may be defended against the charge of being " stiff and un- 
sociable," just as he defended his theological teacher. Although the 
home of Dr. Channing had been for twenty years within a few feet 
of Hopkins's parsonage, although for a short time he had sat under 
Hopkins's ministry and attended his catechetical exercises, yet 
Channing says : 

" It was not until I had left college that I became acquainted with him, and 
a short intercourse dispelled all the fear and reserve which my early impres- 
sions had left in my mind. His conversation was free, rather abrupt, blunt, 
and often facetious. We saw, at once, that he had lived in his study, and 
borrowed very little from the manners of the fashionable world. He took 
pleasure in talking with me of his past life, his controversies, &c., and I regret 
that I took no notes, and did not, by questions, acquaint myself with the prog- 
ress of his mind." f 

A Baptist clergyman of some celebrity writes : 

" When I commenced my residence in Newport, I determined not to go 
near Dr. Hopkins ; for, like many others, I had formed from his writings an 
unfavorable opinion of bis character. But I was obliged, by some peculiar 

* Ferguson's Memoir of Hopkins, pp, 94, 95. 

t Memoir of Edwards, Edinburgh edition, pp. 48, 49. 

i Letter of February 14, 1840. 

102 MEMOIR. 

circumstances, to alter my determination ; and before I had been in his pres- 
ence one half hour, I was completely disarmed of my aversion, and won over 
to the love of him. And now, in my old age, I say that if I have ever been 
instrumental in doing any thing for the Redeemer, I owe it all, under God, to 
my intercourse, which has been long and frequent, with Dr. Hopkins." * 

There were many persons, however, who did not penetrate 
through the seeming reserve of IMr. Hopkins's manners, and who, 
tlierefore, never appreciated his real Avorth. He had an original 
character, and this is always misunderstood. The following inci- 
dents, which occurred at Newport, will illustrate the general style in 
which his person, as well as his theology, has been treated. It is 
the less surprising that he should have been thus misrepresented in 
the State of Rhode Island ; for that worthy State was, in the days 
of Hopkins, more famous for its enchanting scenery, and for tlie gen- 
erous enterprise of its citizens, than for their attachment to the strict 
principles of Calvinism, or to any kind oi metaphysics in theology. 

" A gentleman of respectability said to the writer [Dr. Patten], Have yon 
hoard the report of the unfeeling, the almost inhuman conduct of the old 
Doctor? I replied, I had not; what is it? He answered, I do not know 
that it is true, but it is reported that there Mas a child of a widow near his 
house, and whom he might have occasionally seen in his house of v.orship. 
This child was taken sick, and on hearing of it he went to see her. He found 
her mother in the sitting-room, and inquired if her daughter was sick. On 
being informed that she was, he said he wished to see her. The mother, 
from his known severity, feared the interview might be injurious to her dau.irh- 
ter, and wishing to evade his design, told him that her daughter was on t'l'f^ 
bed, and attempting to compose herself to sleep, and hoped he would call 
some other time. But he observed, that he was an old man, and it was diffi- 
cult for hiin to leave home, and that he must see her then. On this, arising, 
as though he would find her, he inquired, ' Where is she ? ' Her distressed 
mother, under this constraint, requested him to follow her, and introduced him 
to the sick chamber. The child, on seeing him, manifested alarm. He ap- 
proached her bed, and said, ' You are sick, child.' ' Yes, sir, I have a violent 
lieadache.' ' But do you not know that you may die by this sickness ? ' ' Yes, 
sir, I know T may.' ' And do you know that if you do not repent, and be- 
lieve in Cln-ist before you die, you will go to hell ? ' The alarm, it was sup- 
posed, increased the disease of the child, and in three or four days she 
expired. This was the report. Wishing to know tlie circumstances of the 
case, I called on Dr. H. in his study, and the following conversation en- 
sued : ' I have heard, sir, there M'as a funeral in your neighborhood a few 
days since.' ' Yes, a child was buried last week from a house not far distant.' 
' liad you any acquaintance with the child?' 'Yes, she lived in my family 
some time, and had returned home but a few days before she was taken sick.' 
' Did you know of her sickness before her death ? ' ' Yes ; when her case 
seemed fixed, her mother came with a request from the child that I would go 
and see her, and I went immediately.' ' In what state did you find her ? ' 
' Her fever was high ; but, to my surprise, she appeared acquainted with her 
heart, and the way of salvation, and was calm and resigned ; and I think 
there is reason to hope she was a true Christian.' ' But was there nothing 
unpleasant occurred during your intercourse with her?' 'Not any thing; 
why do you ask ? ' I then related the rumor. He appeared struck with unu- 
sual surprise and grief, and exclaimed, ' O, the blindness and wickedness of 

* Ferguson's Memoir, p. 134. 

MEMOIR. 103 

some men ! ' The only ground of tlie slanderous report was, that a child in 
the neighborhood liad a fever, that Dr. H. visited her, and in a few days 
she died. 

" Anotlier instance: tli3 v.'riter was in the house of a woman who belonged 
to a different denomination of Christians ; but being situated near Dr. H.'s 
meeting-house, I inquired if she had ever gone into it to hear him preach. 
She replied, ' No, I hope not ; a man of such doctrine I never wish to hear.' 
' What doctrine ? ' I impiired. ' Why, that there are injantii in hell not a span 
long.^ ' You never heard him preach it; did you ever tind it in any of his 
writings ? ' ' No, I never read any of his writings, nor would allow one of his 
books to be in my house.' I then assured the woman that she had been mis- 
informed. What she stated had been the common calumny, for several cen- 
turies, against the ministers of the gospel who had preached the natural 
depravity of mankind. The doctrine of Dr. II. was nothing more. So far 
from believing that ' there were infants in hell not a span long,' I had heard 
him repeatedly declare that lie did not believe tliere was one infant in hell. 
Though it vi^as ditiicult for her to resign her prejudice, yet, confiding in my 
veracitj', she did not persist in vindicating it." * 

One cold morning. Dr. Hopkins went out early, " to purchase a piece of 
flannel, and called at the first store in his way, which was kept by a young 
gentleman of undoubted integrity, and of a very respectable family. He 
measured the llmuel and threw it on the counter, and while he was making 
change of the money for pay, Dr. H. cursorily said, ' Is that a yard ? ' The 
young man resentfully replied, ' Yes, sir ; I am not such a rogue as to keep a 
short yardstick.' Dr. H. added, ' I had not the least suspicion of it.' But think- 
ing he placed too much coalidence in himself, lie rejoined, ' Though you are 
now lionest, you are not out of danger of falling, for many young men wjio 
were as confident in their integrity as yourself, have committed greater crimes, 
and been brought to the gallows.' The next day, his deacon called on him, 
and informed him that a rumor was circulating in town which excited great 
indignation against iiim, and which he knew could not be true, but requested 
that he would state tlie facts, that he might refute it.' Dr. H. inquired, ' What 
rumor?' The deacon replied, 'It is said that you went into the store of such 
a young gentleman, and requested a yard of flannel ; that v.'hen he had meas- 
ured it for you, you denied it to be just measure, charged him with keeping 
a f ilse yardstick, and s:iid he was in danger of coming to tlie gallows.' On 
this, the doctor observed, ' I believe, deacon, I had better give you no infor- 
mation on the subject ; for there was no one in the store with the young gen- 
tleman and myself, and there is no witness of the transaction. The rumor 
must have originated with the young gentleman ; and were I to say it is false, 
it would be cliarging him with lying, which would be a real censure on his 
character that I am not able to prove. If true, he might, to vindicate his own 
representation, say [that] the old man is ashamed of what he said, and, to save 
his reputation, prevaricates. Thus, bad as the aftair now is, it would be worse. . 
What is your opinion, deacon ? ' Tlie deacon replied, ' I think with you, sir, 
that the stibject had bettor bo left to take its o'.vn course.' "f 

* PaUcii's Remiiiiscoiiccs, pp. 121-125. 

t PaHoii's Itcmiiiisiciircs, pp. 117-119. Tliis incident illustrates the consistency of 
Hopkins's roiiduct wiili liis principles. It is in striking' coincidence with his remarks on 
the " Discipline of llic Cliurch,'" in his Sj'stem, vol. ii. pp. 171-182. partionlarly p. 179. 
All accounts agree that Hopkins described himself when he speaks of President Ed- 
wards, as " taking' great care never to use [his tongue] in any way that might prove 
niiscliievous to any ; never to sin with his tongue, nor to improve [.'] it in idle, trivial, 
and impertinent talk, which generally makes up a great part of the conversation ol 
those who arc full of words in all companies. He was seiisihio tiiat in the nuillitudc 
of words tliere wantelh not sin, and therefore refrained his lips, and habituated himselt 
to think before he spoke, and to purpose some good end even in all his words ; which 
led him to be, above many others, agreeable to St. James's advice, slow to speak." 
Memoir of Edwards, Edinburgh edition, p. 48. 

104 MEMOIR. 

Dr. Channing describes an interview, at the Redwood Library, 
between Hopkins and " a singular man named Stuart, or Stewart, 
sometimes called 'the walking philosopher,' in consequence of his 
having travelled over a good part of the world on foot. Stuart was 
a man of much kindness, too kind to lay his weight on a horse, 
or to eat animal food, or even to kill a mosquito when sucking his 
blood ; but he was an atheist, and let drop some expression of his 
opinions before Dr. Hopkins. The Doctor was moved to indigna- 
tion, and cried out, ' You fool ! were it not for God, you could not 
move a step from where you stand.' Stuart replied calmly to Dr. 
Patten, who was present, 'The old gentleman seems disturbed.'"* 
Other persons acquainted with the scene here noticed, deny, and 
Dr. Channing does not affirm, that this stern reprover exhibited any 
unjustifiable passion in pronouncing him to be a fool who " said in 
his heart. There is no God." The reproof did not affect the friendly 
relations which had long subsisted between the divine and the eccen- 
tric author. It was understood to be nothing more than " plain 
speech." Infidels were wont to encounter the stalwart theologian, 
and they learned not to treasure up ill will in memory of his homely 
thrusts. Strangers, however, often supposed his pertinence to be 
impertinence, and mistook the decisive tones of his voice for signs 
of unwarranted passion. 

They also misunderstood his inqitisitiveness of mind. It must be 
allowed that he was excessively fond of asking questions — a fault 
which a native of New England should be slow to condemn. He 
was one of those who " through desire separate themselves, and seek 
to intermeddle M'ith all knowledge." It was natural that the very 
trait which fitted him to be a theologian, should develop itself some- 
times in too interrogative a style of conversation. In the eighth 
edition of the Autobiography of Rev. John Murray, the pioneer of 
Universalism in our land, is a vivid narrative of an interview between 
himself and our inquisitive divine. The picture is drawn by an 
opposer of Hopkins, and we may presume that it would have been 
difterently colored, " if the lion had been the painter." Shaded as 
it is, however, it illustrates the eager curiosity and the decisive tones 
of the Newport minister, as well as the authority which once be- 
longed to the " New England bishops." Explained as it ought to 
be, it does not warrant the belief, which INIr. Murray seems to have 
entertained, that Hopkins was irritated.t The two preachers were 
riding together on horseback, in the autumn of 1773, a distance of 
about forty miles, from Preston, in Connecticut, to Newport, in 
Rhode Island. Mr. Murray says : | 

» Letter of February 14, 1C40. 
t See p. G3 of this Memoir. 

t Life, pp. 169-177. For the sake of convenience, Mr. Hopkins's part of the 
dialogue is here printed in italics. 

MEMOIR. 105 

" In the course of the day, Mr. II. thus questioned mc: ' Well, sir, I suppose 
you will preach in JVeicporf.^ — Very likely, sir. — ' You have friends there, I 
presume.'' — No, sir, I do not know a sino;lc soul. — ' You have letters of recom- 
mendation, perhaps.^ — Not a lino, sir. — ' Where, then, do you intend to go, and 
what do you intend to do"}'' — I have laid no plans, sir. — ' I promise you, you 
shall not preach in my meeting.'' — I should be very much surprised, it" 1 did, 
sir. — ' .-Ind I suppose you think, yon are called of God to go to jy'ewport.'' — I 
think it is not unlikely, sir. — ^ I believe you will find yourself mistaken.' — It 
is possible. — ' Suppose you shoidd find no place to preach in, ivhat would you 
do then?' — Devote myself to private conversation. — ' But suppose you could 
find no one to converse with.' — Then I would turn about and come back 
again. — ' But what would you think of your faith } ' — Call it fancy. But, at 
present, I think I shall preach the gospel in Newport ; and, although I ain an 
utter stranger, knowing no one, nor known by any one, yet I expect, before I 
leave the place, to have many friends. — '^ij/, these are fine fancies, indeed.' — 
Had you not better suspend your decision until you witness the result? Will 
it not then be full time to determine whetiicr it be faith or fancy"} — ^ If it 
should not be as I predict, I should not be ashamed to own my error ; if it should, 
you ought to blush for your unwarrantable confidence. But as it is not impos- 
sible you may preach in th'tt city, and that some of my people may be among the 
number of your hearers, I think I have a right to question you.' — If God will 
give me leave to preach to his people, I am content. — ' Jf hat do you mean by 
that, sir"}' — Your observation brought to my mind, what, on a certain occa- 
sion, a very distinguished servant of God said to his master, when he was told 
to go down and see what his people were doing: 'O Lord, they are not my 
people, they are thy people.' However, Moses was not settled on your plan. 
— ' Well, sir, I look upon my people to be God's people.' — You are perfectly 
right, sir; so indeed they are; and if I speak to them at all, I shall speak to 
them in that character. — ' JFell, sir, as you call yourself a preacher of the gos- 
pel, and may, as I have said, preach to my people, it is proper I should know 
ivhat ideas you have of gospel. Tell me, sir, wlud is gospel}' — I am happy 
in being able to give you a direct answer. The gospel, sir, is a solemn dec- 
laration, given upon the oath of Jeliovah, that in the Seed of Abraham all the 
nations should be blessed. — '/s that all you know of gospel?' — Would it not, 
my good sir, require a very long time to inform mankind tvho and what that 
Seed is, how and in what manner all the nations of the earth are and shall hi 
blessed therein ; and what blessings they are blessed with, in Christ Jesus i 
The apostle Paul, although he labored more abundantly than his brethren, 
found this vast, this important subject, abundantly sulRciont for his ivhole life ; 
and those wlio are blessed in that Seed will find the contemplation of that 
blessedness which they shall be blessed with, in him, sufficient to furnish a 
song, which, although never ending, will be ever new. — ^ If such be your 
views, you know nofhing at all of gospel,' — You could not so absolutely deter- 
mine this matter, if you yourself were not acquainted with the meaning of the 
term gospel. Tell me then, sir, if you please, what is gospel? — ' Why, sir, 
this is gospel : He that belicveth shad be saved, and he that believeth not shall be 
damned.' — Indeed, sir, I had thought tlie literal, simple meaning of the term 
gospel, was glad tidings. Whicli part of tlio passage you have cited is gos- 
pel, that which announces salvation, or thai which Announces damnation} — 
' Jf'cll, then, if r/ou please, this is sospcl: He that believeth shall be saved.' — Be- 
licveth whrit, sir? — T/iaL' — VVh:a, sir? — ' That, I tell i/oi/..' — What, sir? 

— ^ That, I tell you : He that believeth shall be saved.' — Believeth ivhat, sir? 
What is he to believe ? — ' f^hy, that, I tell you.' — I wished, sir, to treat tiiis 
investigation seriously ; but, as you seem to be disposed to be rather ludicrous, 
we will, if you please, dismiss the subject. — Wo, sir, I do not mean to be ludi- 
crous ; I am very serious.' — Well, sir, if so, then I beg leave to ask, What is 
it I am to believe, the believing of which will save me} — ^ That Jesus Christ 
made it possible ybr siimers to be saved.' — By what means? — '^ By believing' 

— Believing what ? — ' That.' — What ? — ' That Jesus Christ made it possible 

106 MEMOIR. 

for sinners to be savedJ' — By what means is it possible tliat sinners may be 
saved ? — ' By believing; I tell you.'' — But the devils believe ; will their believ- 
int^ save them ? — ^JVo,sir.^ — Suppose I believe that Jesus Christ made it 
possible to save sinners; will that save me? — ' JVo, stV.' — Then, sir, let me 
ask, What am I to believe, the believing of which will save me ? — ' Why, sir, 
you must believe the gospel, that Jesus made it possible for sinners to be saved.'' — 
But by what means ? — ' By believing.'' — Believing v/liat ? — ' That, I tell 
you.^ " 

After some comments, Mr. Murray adds, (aiul, according to his 
own version, he made far more offensive remarks than he received, 
and was treated with pecuhar fairness and moderation by his opposer :) 

" Finding the temper of Mr. H. rise higher and higher, every time I repeat- 
ed my question, I endeavored to bring the matter to a conclusion, by obsen-- 
ing that I was astonished to find a master in Israel, and a writer too, either 
not able, or not icilling to answer a simple question, viz., what am I to believe 
is the foundation of my salvation ? what am I to believe procures my justifica- 
tion in the sight of God ? — ' And I am a^^fonished at your blasphemy.'' — This 
is in character, sir ; men of your description were long since fond of fixing 
this charge on both the Master and his witnesses ; but remember, sir, if I 
have blasphemed, it is only Mr. H. whom I have blasphemed. — ' fVell, sir, I 
believe I have gone too far ; Iicill, if you please, take back the charge.'' — With 
all my heart, sir. — ^I do not doubt you may be admired in JVewport a whole 
fortnight.'' — That, no doubt, will be fourteen days longer, than you would 
wish. Arriving in sight of Newport, Mr. H. said : ' There, sir, is my meeting- 
house; at a little distance from thence is my dwelling-house, and my friends are 
multiplied.'' — Well, sir, I have no home, meeting-house, nor friend, in New- 
port. Yet, I repeat, before I leave that city, I expect to have more tlian one 
home, and many friends. — ' IVell, now I think of it, there is one man u-ho has a 
little place, in which, possibly, you may get leave to preach ; I will direct you to a 
man who has some acquaintance ivith him.'' — I will thank you, sir, to inform me 
where my horse may bo» taken care of; for myself, I have little concern. — 'i 
promise you horse keeping is very high in J\ewport.^ — That, sir, is very sad 
tidings to me, for I promise you my finances are very low. Some very bitter 
speeches were made ; and I regretted that I was so unfortunate as to have 
taken the journey with Mr. II. Your people, said I, are leavened with the 
leaven of the Pharisees, and you seem to be leavened with the leaven of 
Ilcrod. — ' fVhat do you mean by the leaven of Herod'}'' — I mean the nature 
of Herod. — ' Horv does that apply ? ' — Some persons urged our Master to fly, 
in consequence of Herod's seeking his life. Go, said he, tell that fox I imrk 
io-day and to-morrow, &c., &c. Our Master denominated Herod a fox, for 
the purpose of giving an idea of his nature. What is a fox ? a creature that 
lives upon the spoil ; but he is dependent upon the secrecy of the night, and, 
we are told, in order the more eflfectually to cover his designs, he sometimes 
imitates the watch-dog, thus endeavoring to make it appear he is defending 
the property of the husbandman, while, under the guise of watchful care for 
others, he is covertly acting for iiimself, till the morning dawns, till the light 
appears, and then his labor ends. This is the leaven of Herod, and it was of 
the nature of this insidious animal, that our Lord cautioned his disciples to 
beware. — ' Jf'ell, there is something ingenious in that, I confess.^ — We reached 
the ferry a little before sunset, and on landing at Newport, ' There,'' said Mr. 
H., pointing to a small shop, ' if you tcill call on that man, he will give you 
direction.'' I walked on, stopped at the door, and holding the bridle in my 
hand," etc., etc. 

That must certainly be a commendable character, against which 
its enemies can say nothing worse, than the father of New England 

MEMOIR. 107 

Universalism has said against one of the fathers of Hopkinsianism. 
Mr. Murray erred, in supposing his antagonist's want of amenity in 
manners to be an irascibihty of temper. Amid all our commenda- 
tion of Hopkins, we cannot say that he sacrificed to the Graces. 
His rugged work as a controversialist, did not make him a nice 
observer of conventional eti(iuette. Dr. West says, that he was 
never overbearing in an argument ; * his style, however, made him 
appear so, at times, to strangers. He understood " human nature " 
far more thoroughly than " human life," and thus he often stirred up 
prejudices which a more " fashionable " man would have avoided. 
He was not made for smooth waters. Dr. Channing says, that " he 
wanted toleration toward those who rejected his views ; " t but that 
he was more intolerant than other Calvinistic divines, Channing did 
not suppose, and what Channing would call intolerance they would 
call a needful reverence for the truth. Dr. Ashbel Green says, that 
Hopkins "is certainly a man of much more candor, liberality, and 
Catholicism than most of his disciples ; " t but his disciples have 
been as liberal and catholic as other Calvinists. A gentleman of 
literary distinction, who knew Hopkins well, and dissents from tlie 
Hopkinsian creed, has the magnanimity to write : " He seems to me, 
in looking back on that early day, to have been the most individual, 
identical man with whom I have ever been acquainted, or rather 
[whom] I have ever seen. He said what he thought, and with a 
clearness, a distinctness in perfect harmony with the occasion. I 
do believe that ' disinterested benevolence,' the underlying principle 
of his stern metaphysics and of his apparently totally impracticable 
theology, was as real and as ojierative with him, as is the opposite 
principle in the hearts and lives of other men." 


In the rich liiterary Diary which President Stiles kept at Yale 
College, he has inserted the following record, which vividly illustrates 
the character of his times : 

"New Haven, 1781. Received a letter from Rev. Mr. Hopkins, daterl 
Newport, January 20; wherein he says, speaking of the state of religion 
there, ' Every thing is dark and discouraging here, with respect to the all- 
important interest. The people in general are going from bad to worse, and 
I now see no way for my continuing here longfcr than till spring. Neither 
your people nor mine are disposed to attend public worship constantly, except 
a few individuals. There is but little encouragement to preach, where there 
is so little attention, and so very little concern about any thing invisible. I 
expected you, sir, would be willing to perform the part of a professor of 
divinity on the decease of Dr. Daggett, till I was told the contrary by Mr. 
Fitch. I wish that place may be well supplied. But where is the man to be 

* See p. G3 of tliis Memoir. t Works, vol. iv. p. 342. 

t Life of Dr. Green, p. 240. 

108 MEMOIR. 

fmmd ? — the man who will accept, and who will be accepted. If I knew 
of one who probably would be acceptable to the college, and might be 
willing to make a trial half a year or a year, he must not be mentioned, if he 
be a New Divinity man.' 

" Remark 1. Very lamentable is the state of religion at Newport, and 
particularly that they will not attend public worship. But, 

"2. One occasion of tliis negligence is brother Hopkins's New Divinity. 
He has preached his own congregation almost av/ay, or into an indifference. 
He has fifty or sixty, or more, families of his own congregation in town, and 
might easily command a good assembly, if his preaching was as acceptable 
as his moral character. My congregation, gatliered in town, are seventy or 
eighty families, and would gladly attend such preaching as Dr. Owen's, or 
Dr. Doddridge's, or preachers of far lower abilities, provided they were 
ejiisdem farhifv. with the first Puritan divines. 

" 3. Although New Divinitj" preachers collect some large congregations 
in some parts, as Taunton, Middloboro', Abington, &c., yet tlieir preaching is 
acceptable, not for the new tenfts, but for its containing the <2;ood old doctrines 
of grace, on which the new gentlemen are wn/ sound, and clear, and full. In 
other parts, where the neighl>oring ministers generally preach the old Cal- 
vinistic doctrines, the people begin to be tired with the incessant inculcation 
of the unintelligible and shocking new points ; especially, that an uncon- 
verted man iiad better bo killing his father and mother than praying for 
converting grace; that true i-epentance implies a willingness and desire to 
be damned for the glory of God ; that we are to give God thanks that he has 
caused Adarn to sin, and involve all his posterity in total depravity, that 
Judas betrayed and tlie Jews crucified Christ, &c., &c. ; tiiat the children of 
none but communicants are to be baptized, &c. ; that the churclies and 
ministers are so corrupt and Laodicean, and have so intermixed with the 
world, tliat the New Divinity churches and ministers cannot hold communion, 
but must and do recede and sequester themselves from them." 

" 4. I do not perceive on whom Mr. Hopkins has his eye for a professor 
of divinity. But Mr. Fitcli tells me, Mr. Hopkins spake of Mr. West, of 
Stockbridge, as a great scholar, a great divine, and excellently qualified for 
such an office ; but he supposed the corporation would not choose him. He 
also mentioned Mr. Hart, of Preston, as a great divine. I rather think he 
supposed Mr. West would be acceptable to tlie scholars. But when it is said, 
he would be willing to preach in college a year on trial, I should rather think 
^p. meant some one else besides Mr. West or Mr. Hart." 

These remarks of Dr. Stiles suggest a few comments. 

1. He manifests his usual fairness in confessing that the New 
School of divines were "very sound, and clear, and full," on 
the '■'■ good old doctrines of grave.'''' This is the testimony of one who 
had been intimate with the leader of that school. He was better 
acquainted with their principles than are the men who, in some parts 
of our country, accuse that same school of denying the " funda- 
mental doctrines of the gospel." 

2. He implies, what is well known from other sources, that the 
New Divinity men aimed to be more strict in Christian discipline than 
the Old. He evidently revered — how could he avoid doing sol — 
the religious spirit of Hopkins, who was, at that time, the accredited 
chief of the New Divinity men. All who hicto Hopkins acknowledged 
his personal excellence. 

3. The two Hopkinsian doctrines, that men have natural power 
to do whatever they are justly required to do, and that all moral 

MEMOIR. 109 

character consists in the free choices of men, are not considered by 
Dr. Stiles as worthy of mention, when compared with the other 
Hopkinsian principles, that the chiklren of communicants only are 
to be baptized, and that a creature ought to sacrifice all his interests 
when the glory of the Creator demands the sacrifice. During the 
lifetime of Hopkins, he found some, but not many, unreasonable 
enough to gainsay those two axioms relating to man's power to do 
what is required of liim, and to the active nature of all sin. 

4. Dr. S. describes Hopkinsianism as unpopular, and therefore as 
fit to be condemned. Many Calvinists have done the same, and thus 
added force to the Arminian objection, that Calvinism is not attrac- 
tive to the human heart, and is, therefore, false. 

5. The fact that Hopkins did not interest the fifty or sixty fami- 
lies of his parish in the support of the gospel, is ascribed by Dr. 
Stiles to the New Divinity, as a main cause ; and yet the seventy or 
eighty families of Dr. Stiles's parish did not even go so far as to 
ordain a minister, until ten years after he had left them. If, then, 
the low estate of the First Church was occasioned by the " strong 
meat " of Hopkinsianism, why was not the lower estate of the Sec- 
ond Church occasioned by the "sincere milk" of moderate Calvin- 
ism, which Dr. Stiles had imparted for the twenty previous years 1 
The depressed condition of both the First and Second Church was 
owing less to either the New or Old Divinity, than to the revolution- 
ary war.* 

6. While Dr. Stiles refers to New Divinity as thinning the audience 
of Mr. Hopkins, he concedes, with his characteristic frankness, that 
other preachers of that same divinity collected "large congregations." 
It is notorious that they had some of the best congregations in New 
England. Does not this imply, that some other causes operated in 
keeping away the multitude from the choir-leader of the New Divinity. 

7. Dr. Channing ascribes the unpopularity of Mr. Hopkins, as a 
preacher, to a combination of different causes. He says : 

" My recollections of Dr. Hopkins go back to my earliest years, [i. c, a 
short time after Dr. Stiles penned the above record.] As the Second Con- 
gregational Church was closed in my childhood, in consequence of Dr. Stiles's 
removal to New Haven, my father was accustomed to attend on the ministry 
of Dr. Hopkins. Perhaps he was the first minister I heard, — but I heard him 
with no profit. His manner, which was singularly unattractive, could not 
win a child's attention ; and the circumstances attending the service were 
repulsive. The church had been much injured by the British during the 
occupation of the town, and the congregation were too poor to repair it. It 
had a desolate look ; and in winter the rattling of the windows made an im- 
pression which time has not worn out. It was literally as 'cold as a barn;' 
and some of the most painful sensations of my childhood were experienced 
in that comfortless building. As I grew up, I was accustomed to attend 

•■ See Hon. William EUery's Letter, in Dr. Holmes's Life of Stiles, pp. 223, 224. 
Hopkinsianism was repugnant, and so was moderate Calvinism, to many who had felt 
the influence of De Roehambeau and his army. 

110 MEMOIR. 

worship in our own church, where Dr. Patten was settled, so that for years 1 
knew little of Dr. Hopkins. My first impressions were not very favorable. I 
think it probable, that his strong reprobation of the slave trade excited ill 
will in the place ; and I can distinctly recollect, that the prevalence of terror 
in his preaching was a very common subject of remark, and gave rise to 
ludicrous stories among the boys." — "His [Dr. H.'s] preaching can only 
be understood by one who had heard him. His voice was most untunable. 
Some of the tones approached a cracked bell, more nearly than any thing to 
which I can compare it. He changed from a low to a high key, and the 
reverse, with no apparent reason. His manner was without animation. His 
matter, as far as I can trust my memory, was not made acceptable by any 
adaptation to the taste of the hearer. He had exercised the severer facul- 
ties of his mind too much to give a fair chance to the imagination. He had 
no relish for poetry, and spoke of himself as finding no attraction in Milton 
or Shakspeare. If his style was clear and strong, he owed these qualities to 
his habits of thought, and not to any study of the best writers. We cannot 
wonder, then, that he was a very uninteresting preacher. He sometimes 
ascribed the unfruitfulness of his ministry to other causes, and seemed to see 
in it a judgment on himself. But a minister who has not tlie gift to win 
attention, should see no mystery in his failing to do good. Dr. Hopkins was 
a student, not preacher. His mind was habitually employed in investigation, 
and he never studied the art of communication. With an unharraonious voice, 
with no graces of manner or style, and with a disposition to bring forward 
abstract and unpalatable notions, is it wonderful that he did so little in the 
pulpit .^ " * 

8. The account which Mr. Hopkins himself gives of his ministe- 
rial discouragements is an affecting exhibition of his rare virtues. 
Tlie idea seems never to have entered his mind, that by concealing 
the limited success of his pulpit, he might preclude some objections 
to his theology. With what an honest and humble spirit, does the 
divine of nearly fourscore years confess : 

" My preaching has always appeared to me as poor, low, and miserable, 
compared with what it ought to be ; and frequently a sense of my deficiencies 
in this has been very painful and discouraging; and I have felt often as 
if I must leave off, and never attempt any more ; and commonly, if not 
always, a prospect of preaching, and when I have been entering upon it, has 
brought a peculiar burden on my mind. And many times, when I have been 
preaching, it has left a painful consciousness, that I have come unspeakably 
short of what ought to be. And I have never wondered that my preaching 
has been attended with so little apparent good effect, since it has been so 
deficient every way." f 

How suddenly is a critic disarmed, when he reads the narrative 
which this aged and broken-hearted penitent gives of his qualifica- 
tions for the pulpit ! 

" I have never," he says, " in the course of my life, since I first entertained 
a hope that I had been brought to the knowledge of tJie truth, given up my 
hope, and come to a settled conclusion that I had no grace ; but my doubts 
have frequently rose very high. Many times my exercises have been such, 
as for a time to exclude all doubts. But I have been constantly conscious 
that I have always fallen unspeakably below what I ought to be, and what I 

* Dr. Channing's Letter of February 14, 1840. Hopkins was an old man, as thus 

t Sketches, p. 88. 


hoped I should be. My strongest religious exercises and highest enjoyments 
have taken place in my retirement and secret devotions ; and in my public 
performances, praying and preaching have generally been very low ; which 
I have sometimes suspected was an argument that my religion is not genuine. 
I know it is an argument against me, that I am very sinfully defective in my 
social and public religion ! I have been frequently carried out in secret in 
views of divine truth, and exercises, even to an ecstasy, while tears have 
flowed abundantly, with groanings and desires truly unutterable. My re- 
ligious emotions and exercises of soul in the view of the truths respecting God 
and the Saviour, the way of salvation, my own evil character, &c., have been 
unspeakably more lively and strong, than any emotions and exercises I have 
ever experienced, respecting any worldly, temporal objects. I have loved 
retirement, and have never been comfortable when deprived of it ; and have 
taken more pleasure alone, than in any company ; and have often chosen to 
ride alone, when on a journey, rather than in the best company.* I have for 
a long course of years, even from my first entering on the work of the min- 
istry, spent the last day of the week in retirement, and in fasting and prayer, 
unless interrupted by something extraordinary ; and have found great ad- 
vantage by it. This I have practised, not as a burden and task, but as a 
privilege. I have felt and known myself to be a low and shameful Christian, 
if I were one ; and have generally reflected on myself, character, and con- 
duct, as a Christian and minister of the gospel, with a painful shame and self- 
condenmation, of which none can have conception but those who have felt 
the same ; knowing that in many things I offend, and in every thing have 
com§ unspeakably short of what I ought to do and be, considering my advan- 
tages, mercies, and obligations. My life and character, and all my exercises, 
are stained with such an awful degree of moral depravity and pollution, that 
I feel myself infinitely far from any righteousness or moral goodness that 
can recommend me to the favor of God ; and if I am dealt with according to 
my moral character and desert, I must be cast off" by God, and made miserable 
forever. I have no refuge but the righteousness, the infinite merit and 
wortliiness of Christ. In him I hope ; to him I come for pardon, justification, 
and redemption from all iniquity, while I am willing to be considered as 
infinitely unworthy, and ill-deserving, even the greatest sinner that is, or 
ever was on earth ; and know that if I am saved, it will be wholly owing 
to mere, infinite, sovereign grace ; to eternal, electing love ; for which I 
cannot give or conceive any reason, but that which was given by the Son 
of God — ' Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight.' I am truly 
ashamed of myself, that I have lived so long, and have made so little ad- 
vances in mental [probably a misprint for 'moral and'] religious attain- 
ments ; and am, at the same time, conscious that I see but very little of 
my shameful depravity which has actually taken place, and now exists, and 
as it is viewed by the omniscient Saviour ; and, therefore, my confessions, 
shame and humiliation in his sight are inconsiderable and nothing, com- 
pared with my real shameful depravity and odiousness. And that petition 
well becomes me, ' God be merciful to me a sinner ! ' " f 

* If 3Ir. Hopkins had learned to express in public the feelings which he poured out 
in private, he would have been one of the most eloquent of preachers. But he was 
often curbed and lield down in presence of an auditory. He begins a letter on the first 
of January, 1771, in a style not very common for a New Year's Day : •• I can in some 
measure sympathize with jou in your dejecting sense of your own pollution, vilencss, 
and guilt ; though this brings a dreadful Imrden on me often, in which you cannot fully 
share. You can secrete yourself, and withdraw from society, when this view of your- 
self renders you unfit for company, and fills }ou with apprehensions that you shall do 
mischief to all you converse with. But I am obliged to lead in public worship, and 
engage in the most solemn and awful business of speaking in God's name, and dealing 
wuh immortals about their eternal concerns, whatever views 1 have of myself; how- 
ever dejected in my own mind, and desirous to be hid in a corner, out of all danger 
of spreading mischief — out of the way, and even the thoughts of all." 

+ Sketches, -n. 83-88. 

112 MEMOIR. 

9. The success of Mr. Hopkins in the pulpit has been underrated 
both by himself and his opponents. Had he not been so much more 
celebrated in other spheres, he would have been called a useful 
preacher ; not eminently so, not stirring or melting the sensibilities, 
but enlightening the intellect, probing the conscience, and thus puri- 
fying the heart. We know not how we can otherwise explain the 
eulogies of his friends, many of whom were noted for guarding and 
measuring their words. Making all needful deductions for the filial 
reverence with which Dr. Samuel Spring extolled the preaching of 
liis instructor, we cannot account for his eulogistic language, unless 
we believe that Hopkins did some good to some men ; and was fitted, 
although not to please the multitude, yet to edify mature Christians. 
" No minister, we think," says Dr. Samuel Spring, " was ever more 
justly esteemed and admired. For, though he was destitute of natu- 
ral eloquence, such was the choice of his subjects, tlie interesting 
and properly arranged thoughts which constituted his sermons and 
prayers, that but few preachers commanded more attention, and were 
favored with more solemn and devout assemblies. To administer 
conviction and instruction, edification and consolation, according to 
the respective conditions of his hearers, was the design and tendency 
of his preaching. Good people rejoiced, and wicked people trem- 
bled, at seeing him enter the desk. For he believed, and made tliem 
believe also, that his ministration would prove the savor of life to 
some, and the savor of death to others. How solemn the thought ! 
How solemn and interesting the connection between minister and 
people ! But this the Doctor felt, and this he was qualified to make 
others feel. Hence the devout and awful solemnity which attended 
his public performances. He preached Christ, and not himself; he 
concealed himself, and displayed the truth." * 


" He had many qualities," says Dr. Channing, " fitting him for a 
reformer — great singleness of purpose, invincible patience of re- 
search, sagacity to detect and courage to oppose errors, a thirst for 
consistency of views, and resolution to carry out his principles to 
their legitimate consequences." t He received the recompense of 
reformers — much obloquy wliile he was living, but many presages 
of a posthumous fame. In reading his letters and Journal, we are 
surprised at the extent to which he anticipated some of our modern 

He inculcated, at a very early day, the duty of entire abstinence 

* See Massachusetts Missionary Magazine for February, 18Q4, p. 363. 
t Letter of February 14, 1810. 


from intoxicating liquids as a beverage.* He showed the power of 
conscience and will over the sensibilities, in his sudden abandonment 
of tobacco. Tiie particulars of tliis change in his habit, are thus 
detailed by Dr. Patten : 

" Among the customs of the day, that of smoking had become general, es- 
pecially by ministers of the gospel. Mr. Hopkins had followed the custom. 
At a meeting of ministers, as they were indulging in the practice, and had 
filled the room with smoke, the wife of the minister at whose house they met, 
found it necessary to take something from a cupboard at the farther corner of 
the room. As she opened the door, a cloud of smoke came on her, and pro- 
duced a partial suffocation. She put her apron to her face, and hastened 
across the room, and then returned and shut the door. Mr. Hopkins received 
the impression that it was not becoming, but disgraceful, for Christians, but 
especially ministers, to adopt a practice which was disgusting, and would ex- 
clude females of delicacy from their society and conversation. He said noth- 
ing, but took his pipe and laid it on the shelf over the fireplace, secretly 
resolving tliat he would not take it down again unless he should feel it to be 
necessary. Yet the impression so far continued, that he never had the least 
inclination to resume the practice. A singular example of the power of rea- 
son and principle over sense and habit — a habit which is one of the most 
powerful that can be contracted. Atler this success, he made it an object to 
speak to his clerical brethren and others against the use of tobacco, as unne- 
cessary and injurious ; and so extensively did he prevail, that it became 
almost a mark that one believed with him in doctrine, that he made no use 
of tobacco." t 

Mr. Hopkins was an early opponent of Free-masonry. | "I 
heartily wish that Dagon sunk, as a millstone in the sea, never to 
rise again. But there is a Washington in the way, and many others." 
So he wrote at the age of seventy-seven, and in his eighty-first year 
lie says : " The Free-masons are building a famous lodge here. The 
frame is now raising, a few rods from my house, in plain sight of 
my study window. The din of axes, hammers, and the voices of 
men, assaults me while I am writing tliis. It will cost some thou- 
sands of dollars, but they have money in plenty for the promotion 
of such business. It is to contain a spacious hall for dancing. Thus 
the devil's interest and kingdom seems to go on and prosper ; but in 
reality it is all for Clirist, and designed to promote his interest and 

Non omnia possunms omncs. There was one popular evil, the 
nature of which Hopkins does not seem, at least before his sixty- 
fifth year, to have detected. The Newport Mercury of December 
18, 1784, appropriates an entire page to a list of the prizes drawn in 
the first class of the First Congregational Church Lottery, in New- 
port. There were thirty-six hundred tickets in the lottery ; one 

* Sec also his opposition to the sale of ardent spirit, as intimated on pp. 33-35. 

t Reminiscences, pp. 37, 38. 

X This opposition of Mr. Hopkins to the Masonic order evinces liis impartiality ; for 
some of his best friends belonged to that order, and are spoken of as having been 
buried with Masonic and military honors. 

114 MEMOIR. 

ticket drew three hundred dollars, two tickets drew fifty dollars each, 
five drew twenty each, and thirty drew ten each. The Mercury of 
February 19, 1785, devotes a column to " a list of the fortunate num- 
bers in the second class of the First Congregational Church Lottery 
in Newport." This church was Mr. Hopkins's. Other churches, 
however, were in the same condemnation. The Mercury of May 
28, 1785, gives a schedule of the Jirst class of the Second Congre- 
gational Church Lottery; and September 17, 1785, it describes the 
drawing of the second class of the lottery for the same church, then 
recently Dr. Stilcs's. The Mercury of April 28, 1795, publishes the 
prizes in the " Little Compton United Congregational Society Lot- 
tery." The most reputable ministers of New England then favored the 
lottery system. Dr. Hart, Dr. Benedict, and other clergymen, drew 
prizes in both the lotteries of Mr. Hopkins's church ; and " honest 
Mr. Gillet " drew six hundred dollars, the highest prize of the second 
class. — But why not conceal these facts 1 First, concealment is not 
honest. Secondly, concealment is not wise. It is useful to know 
the imperfections of the best men. Thirdly, concealment does not 
accord with the inspired example. David and Peter are described 
in the Bible as they really lived. Fourthly, concealment is not pos- 
sible. If the friends of a man do not tell the truth about him, his 
enemies will. Fifthly, concealment is not necessary. The failure 
of Hopkins to see the evil of the lottery system, was shared by many 
of the best men in his own day, and only proves him to have been 

There is also another evil, of wliich our reformer seems to have 
been regardless, until the year 1770. He seems to have agreed with 
President Edwards, as long as the President lived, with regard to 
slavery. In the inventory of Edwards's estate, after his death, there 
was mentioned, among his " quick stock," one negro boy, Titus, 
valued at a hundred dollars. So, during a part of Hopkins's resi- 
dence at Great Barrington, he owned a slave. This is asserted in 
part on the authority of Drs. Patten, Channing, Tenney, Mr. Fer- 
guson, and in part on the ground of common fame. An ordinary 
observer, in the last century, would not have suspected, that Samuel 
Hopkins would become the hero of a novel. The Christian World, 
however, of October 14, 21, and 28, 1843, devotes four or five columns 
to a tale extracted from the Albany Weekly Patriot, with regard to 
the sale of Hopkins's slave, the mental depression of the good man in 
consequence of his bargain, and the subsequent history of the negro 
who was sold. The scene of the narrative is laid at Newport. The 
more common, as well jis the more correct opinion, however, has 
been, that the slave was sold before Dr. Hopkins visited Newport, 
and that the remembrance of his own traffic in human flesh stimulated 
him to oppose the same evil in other men. 

MEMOIR. 115 


The amiable Buckminstcr wrote a Review of West'.s Sketches of 
Hopkins's Life, for the Monthly Anthology. He introduced his 
Review with the following words : " Nothing but the celebrity of 
Dr. Hopkins's name would have induced us to give that attention to 
these memoirs, which is commonly expected of reviewers ; for we 
imagine they will be very interesting only to those who have 
adopted his system of theology, or who are inclined to lay equal 
stress with him on the variety and frequency of what are called 
religious experiences."* Now, it is very true, that Hopkins took 
hold of theology with a strong hand ; but he was not a man of one 
idea. Politicians, as well as sentimentalists, have an interest in him ; 
as will be seen in the record of his anti-slavery projects. 

Rhode Island has been justly famed for its love of freedom. The 
Commissioners of Providence Plantations and Warwick passed an 
act against the purchase of negroes, as early as May 18, 1G52. In 
lG75-<5, the Legislature prohibited the reducing of Indians to bond- 
age ; and in 1715, the importation of Indian slaves. But notwith- 
standing her early zeal in behalf of liberty, Rhode Island became, 
at length, deeply involved in the slave system. Many of her fami- 
lies gained their wealth from it, many more were dependent upon it 
for their maintenance. And of all her towns which were engaged in 
the negro traffic, Newport was the cliief. It was, indeed, " the great 
slave market of New England ! " t It is said, that Hopkins often 
looked upon the cargoes of Africans who were landed at the wharves 
near his meeting-house and parsonage. His church members, his 
best friends, his nearest neighbors, nearly all the respectable families 
of tlie town, were owners, and many of the most accomplished mer- 
chants on the island were importers of slaves. They imported not 
for New England alone, but for the South. Even as recently as 
1804-8, Rhode Island owned fifty-nine of the two hundred and two 
slavers carrying negroes into the single port of Charleston, South 
Carolina; and of the seventeen thousand and forty-eight Africans, 
taken into that port during those four years by American vessels, 
the Rhode Island slavers took six thousand two hundred and thirty- 
eight ; and of these, the Newport slavers, diminished in number as 
they had been, took three thousand four hundred and eighty-eight. | 

Amid such a community, then, to attack the system of African 
bondage was to rise up against principalities and powers ; against 
friends, and even the church. It would have been very easy for 

* See Antholog-y, vol. iii. p. 152, seq. 

t Updike's History of the Narraganset Church, pp. 170-174. 

X Speech of Judge Smith, of South Carolina, in the United States Senate, December 
8, 1820. See Updike's History of the Narraganset Church, p. 168. 



Hopkins to discharge volleys against this evil from behind Monu- 
ment Mountain, in Great Barrington ; but now he has removed from 
that snug retreat into tiie very centre of the slave interest, his per- 
sonal quiet and reputation are hazarded by a single whisper with 
regard to it ; — and what shall he do 1 He is poor, and at this time 
[about 1770] he has, what he never had before, a comfortable salary ; 
— shall he forfeit his support ? He is the reputed leader of a new 
school of divines ; — and shall he expose that school to obloquy, by 
identifying it with an unjjopular assault upon an established institu- 
tion 1 He is a preacher of the gospel ; — and shall he divert the 
attention of his hearers from spiritual truth to a political scheme 1 
These were grave questions which he gravely canvassed. At first 
he doubted. He was a prudent man. But his Hopkinsiau divinity 
was characterized by the principle, that one must sacrifice all his 
interests, in this and the other world, if one can thereby promote 
the welfare of " being in general." He believed that if he lifted his 
voice in behalf of the bondmen, he should advance the interests of 
liis race and the honor of his Maker. He oftered himself as a sac- 
rifice. He did it deliberately, solemnly. Anticipating the indigna- 
tion of his people and the anger of the community, he preached a 
sermon against the kidnapping, and purchasing, and retaining of 
\ slaves. A New England poet * has said : " It well may be doubted, 
j whether, on that Sabbath day, the angels of God, in their wide sur- 
I vey of liis universe, looked upon a nobler spectacle than that of the 
I minister of Newport, rising up before his slaveholding congregation, 
: and demanding, in the name of the Highest, the ' deliverance of the 
I captive, and the opening of prison doors to them that were bound ! ' " 
The citizens of Newport were startled by this novel discourse. No 
minister in the land had preached on slavery in so bold a manner, t 
The benevolent Quakers of RIkkIc Island had long been willing to 
pursue, but were not now pursuing, a course of public action against 
the evil. Ho])kins stood up alone, not indeed without any in the 
State who would give him their sympathies, but without any who 
would rise in bold resistance to the dominant powers. He antici- 
pated the worst, and showed the spirit of a martyr. In his modesty, 
he underrated the strength of attachment felt for him by his people. 
His sermons offended a few, and made tliem permanently his ene- 
mies. One wealthy family left his congregation in disgust ; but the 
majority of his hearers were astonished that they, of themselves, had 
not long before seen and felt the truths which he disclosed to them. 
He was encouraged, and went again to the work. In 1776, he 

* John G. Whittier, in the National Era, July 12, 1847. 

t There is no doubt that many clergymen in the land were inwardly hostile to the 
slave system, and were happy to see it so vigorously opposed. But Hopkins had not 
been apprised of their feelings. — He preached several times on the subject between 
1T70 and 1776. 

MEMOIR. 117 

published his celebrated Dialogue concerning the Slavery of the Afri- 
cans, together with liis Address to Slaveholders. This is a remarkable 
document. It opposes both the purchasing and the owning of slaves. 
Some parts of it are written in a style of live-oak. They are good 
specimens of the condensed vigor which he could, at times, throw 
into his composition. Very few reasons and motives have since been 
adduced for manumission, which are not found in this pamphlet. It 
was for a long time a thesaurus for less original writers on the sub- 
ject. It is noteworthy, that he penned this Dialogue during the 
alarms which his people were suffering, in the two years preceding 
their dispersion by the British. He published it in the midst of the 
revolutionary war ! He printed it at Norwich ; probably because 
the Newport press could not safely engage in so offensive an enter- 
prise. What hope had he, that amid the distracting influences of 
the struggle for independence, his countrymen would listen to an 
appeal for the slave 1 He deenied it the fitting time for such an 
appeal ; because, while men were expending their treasures for their 
own freedom, they would feel the consistency of giving freedom to 
their own bondmen. Hopkins meant to sound a trumpet which 
would be heard throughout the land. He aimed high. He dedi- 
cated his pamphlet to the " Honorable Continental Congress." 
Copies of it were sent to the members of that body, and to the 
prominent citizens in all the colonies. As it was, in some respects, 
perhaps the ablest document which had, at that time and on that 
theme, appeared in the English language, and as it was not known to 
have come from an humble parson, (for its author did not publish 
his name at first,) it had a wide circulation among statesmen. It 
was reprinted, in an edition of two thousand copies, by the New 
York Manumission Society, conformably to a vote passed December 
11, 1785, less than a year after the formation of the society. A copy 
of it was sent, in accordance with another vote of the same asso- 
ciation, to every member of Congress, and of the New York Legis- 
lature. .John Jay was at that time the President of the society, and 
Alexander Hamilton the Secretary. Among its most active members 
were .Tames Duane, Mayor of New York City, and Robert R. Liv- 
ingston, Chancellor of New York State. The society, in about five 
months after it had published this Dialogue, addressed a petition to 
the Legislature, in favor of a law prohibiting the exportation of 
slaves for a , foreign market. It is said that the Dialogue did much 
to prepare the minds of the society for this aggressive movement. 

At a subsequent date, the society directed the following letter 
to Mr. Hopkins. It is worthy of remark, that about three months 
before this honor was conferred on him, the same honor was con- 
ferred, by the same association, upon Granville Sharp, of England.* 

* See the letter of Judge Jaj', and Mr. Sharp's acknowledgment of the same, in 
Prince Hoare's Life of Sharp, pp. 252, 334, quarto edition. 

118 MEMOIR. 

" New York, December 10, 1788. Reverend Sir : I have the honor to inform 
you that the Society for promoting the Manumission of Slaves, and protecting 
such of them as have been or may be liberated, wishing to show their respect 
to gentlemen who are eminent for their attachment to the rights of men in 
general, and particularly to those who espouse the cause of the enslaved Afri- 
cans, have lately added to their rules one for the admission of honorary mem- 
bers ; and at their last meeting took tlie liberty of enrolling your name among 
them ; of which they directed notice to be given by their Committee of Cor- 
respondence, in whose behalf I now write. It is with peculiar pleasure I 
comnmnicate the infonnation, and have the honor to be, Reverend Sir, your 
very humble servant, Eben Hazard." 

About the same time, Mr. Hopkins was elected an honorary mem- 
ber of the Pennsylvania Society for the Manumission of Slaves ; of 
which society Benjamin Franklin was President, and Dr. Benjamin 
Rush was Secretary. 

It must not be supposed that Hopkins confined his efforts to the 
pulpit and the press. " In one instance," says Mr. John G. Whit- 
tier,* " he borrowed, on his own responsibility, the sum requisite to 
secure the freedom of a slave in whom he became interested." He 
was a kind of anti-slavery apostle, visiting from house to house, and 
urging masters to free their bondmen. He persuaded several of his 
neighbors to perform this duty, and his conversation with many 
clergymen awakened their minds to exertion in this branch of be- 
nevolence. We cannot estimate the amount of good which he ac- 
complished in tiie following interview with Dr. Bellamy, whose 
example was a law to multitudes. Mr. Ferguson says, t that while 
-Hopkins was once on a visit at the house of Bellamy, who then 
owned a slave, he pressed upon his friend the objections against 
slavery. Bellamy defended the system with the usual arguments, 
and Hopkins refuted them, and then called on his friend to free his 
slave at once ; Bellamy replied, that " the slave was a most faithful 
and judicious servant ; that in his management of the farm, he could 
be trusted with every thing ; and that he was so happy in his ser- 
vitude, that he would, in the opinion of his master, refuse his free- 
dom, were it offered to him. ' Will you consent to his liberation,' 
said Dr. Hopkins, ' if he really desires it ? ' ' Yes,' replied Dr. Bel- 
lamy, ' I will.' The slave was then at work in the field. ' Call 
him,' said Dr. H., and let us try.' The slave came to receive, as he 
he supposed, the commands of his master. — ' Have you a good 
master ? ' said Dr. Hopkins, addressing the slave. What could the 
slave answer but, ' Yes '1 — ' Are you happy in your present con- 
dition? ' — How could the slave deny that he was ? — ' Would 
you be more happy if you were free ? ' ' O, yes, massa, — me 
would be much more happy.' ' You have your desire,' exclaimed 
Dr. Bellamy : ' from this moment you are free.' " | 

* See National Era, July 12, 184.7. See also Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 82, 83. 
t Life of Hopkins, pp. 85, 86. 

X Substantially the same narrative has been given by several writers beside Mr. Fer- 

MEMOIR. 119 


When Mr. Hopkins first preached agfainst the slave system, there 
was not — so far as we are apprised — an association formed in the 
world for abolishing tliat system. Multitudes were in favor of the 
abolition, but they had no concerted plan for effecting their purpose. 
Although the forecasting mind of the Newport pastor was not the 
first to devise the scheme of Abolition Societies, yet he was quick to 
see their worth, and his eftbrts were among the foremost means of 
augmenting their number. Not only by his Sermons and Dialogue, 
but by his numerous letters to public men, and by his newspaper 
essays, he stirred up ministers and laymen to an organized and po- 
litical action against slavery. He found powerful coadjutors among 
the Society of Friends. He found, also, an innate love of freedom 
among the yeomen of Rhode Island. With all his martyr-spirit, he 
doubtless foresaw that the mass of the people would come right ; for, 
although he was not familiar with the etiquette of society, he had a 
profound knowledge of human nature,* and a faith that God will lead 
his servants through much tribulation into ultimate success. It was 
cheering to him, that some time after he had broken the silence of 
the pulpit, the friends of freedom, in June, 1774, pressed a law — 
somewhat inoperative, indeed — through the Legislature of Rhode 
Island, prohibiting the importation of negroes into the colony. Still 
more cheering was the legislative vote of February, 1784,t declaring 
that all children of slaves, born after the first of the next JNIarch, 
should be free. He found hosts of enemies, however, and the fol- 
lowing correspondence exhibits his activity in counteracting their 
schemes, and in waking up the energies of good men. It discloses, 
also, the hardships to which the early advocates of freedom were 
exposed, and our obligations to them for enduring this " hardness as 
good soldiers." 

To Moses Brown, of Providence, a ivcalthy member of the Socicti/ of Friends. 
— "Newport, April 29, 1784. Much esteemed Friend: I am much pleased 
with your zeal, and persevering, assiduous attempts to discourage and abolish 
the slave trade and the slavery of the Africans among us. Though I have a 
degree of the same zeal, yet I am apt to sink under disconragoments which 
you seem easily to surmount. I have dared publicly to declare that this town 
is the most guilty, respecting the slave trade, of any on the continent, as it 
has been, in a groat measure, built up by the blood of the poor Africans ; and 
that the only way to escape the effects of divine displeasure, is to be sensible 

* When Dr. C. J. Tenney was a young man, on his way to Newport, Dr. Spring, of 
Newburyport, said to him, " In fifteen minutes, Dr. Hopkins will sound j-ou through and 

t In this year, however, a motion to prohibit the slave trade was negatived by a con- 
siderable majority of the General Assembly of Rhode Island. Still, the Rhode Island 
Assembly was only four years later than the Assembly of Pennsylvania, in securing 
th« freedom of the slaves to be born within the Slate. 

120 MEMOIR. 

of the sin, repent, and reform. This has greatly displeased a number, and I 
fear the most are far from a disposition to repent, especially they who have the 
greatest share of the guilt. This town, I greatly fear, will be the last in the 
State to do what they ought to do, and be foremost in it, respecting that most 
abominable traffic, and the consequent slavery that is among us. This gives 
me a gloomy prospect of our future circumstances. The freemen have cho- 
sen a new set of representatives, except one. Though some of them are, 
in many respects, worthy men, I believe not one of them will vote for any law 
to discourage the slave trade, or the slavery of the Africans. And I suspect 
that they who planned this choice had a particular view to this. As there are 
objections against the law freeing those blacks which shall be born in future, 
especially against the towns where they are born being obliged to maintain 
them, &c., I expect there will be a strong motion to have it altered or re- 
pealed at the next General Assembly ; and I fear that, by the cunning and 
influence of a number, the latter will be effected. But God sitteth in the 

" The Friends have set a laudable example in bearing testimony against the 
slave trade, and exerting themselves to suppress the slavery of the Africans ; 
and, I must say, have acted more like Christians, in this important article, than 
any other denomination of Christians among us. To our shame be it spoken ! 
The church in which I preside have agreed to declare, tliat the slave trade 
and the slavery of the blacks, as it has been practised among us, is a gross 
violation of the rigliteousness and benevolence which are so much inculcated 
in the gospel, and, therefore, we will not tolerate it in this church. But it is 
thought that present circumstances will not admit of our addressing the Gen- 
eral Assembly on that liead, so as to answer any good purpose. What I pub- 
lished formerly, in the weekly paper here, consisted chiefly in extracts from 
other authors,* all which you have doubtless seen, and most of them have 
since been printed in Providence papers. Our printer gave such offence to a 
number, by publishing those extracts, and was so threatened, if he continued 
to insert such things in his paper, that he has been backward to do any thing 
of this kind since. He has, however, consented to print some observations 
on that head, Avhich I thought proper at this time, next Saturday ; a copy of 
which I shall send to you when I have opportunity." t 

To Moses Brown, — " Nov. 17, 1784. My worthy Friend : I enclose to you 
something relating to the slave trade, that you may get it inserted in the Prov- 
idence papers, if you think it will answer any valuable end. I have not offered 
it to the printer here, because I thought if it frst appeared in our paper, the au- 
thor would be more likely to be suspected, whicl? would answer no good end, 
but the contrary. | I am glad to see the address of the Friends to the British 
Legislature,^ inserted in Mr. Wheeler's paper. I hope it will have influence. 
At least, they have delivered themselves from the guilt of that horrible trade." 

* He published, at this period, various extracts from the writings of the Bishop of 
Gloucester ; and several years afterward, extracts from the works of Clarkson and 
Palcy, on the slave system. He also published, if we may judge from the style of the 
anonymous essays, more of original matter than came from the pen of any other Rhode 
Islander, on this topic 

t This article was printed in the Newport Mercury of May 1, 1784 ; and as a speci- 
men of his mildest style on the subject of slavery, is now republished in the Doctrinal 
Tract Society's edition of Hopkins's Works. 

J This is a very spirited article. It first appeared in the United States Chronicle, 
Political, Commercial, and Historical, printed by Bennet Wheeler, Providence ; and at 
the close is the following notice : " All the printers of newspapers in the United States, 
who are friends to liberty, their country, and mankind, are desired to insert the above 
in their several papers." Great efforts were made by Mr. Brown to circulate all of Mr. 
Hopkins's newspaper essays. Many of them were struck off in a separate form, and 
distributed as circulars over the country. 

5 In E. Copley's History of Slavery, it is said that the first petition to Parliament 
for the abolition of the slave trade was presented in 1785, by citizens of Bridgewater. 

MEMOIR. 121 

To Dr. Levi Hart, of Preston, Connecticut.* — "February 10, 1780. Rev- 
erend and Dear Sir : I send you three pamphlets, put into my hands to pro- 
mote a conviction of the evil of the slave trade and of slavery. You will use 
them to that end, in the way you think best. They are printed by the Qua- 
kers in England. Mr. Brown, of Providence, who sent them to me, writes 
that the dissenting clergy arc joining to promote the utter abolition of slavery 
in the British dominions, and of the slave trade. He wishes to have a prize f 
set up in some of our colleges, to be given for the best piece against the slave 
trade, and says he will give twenty dollars toward such a design. He wishes 
the clergy in America were more engaged to use their influence against the 
slave trade. Query : Would it not be worth while to attempt to get the Con- 
vention of clergy in Boston, the General Association in Connecticut, and the 
Synod of New York and Philadelphia, to remonstrate against it to Congress, 
or [in] some other way to boar their testimony against it ? " 

To .Moses Brown. — "March 9, 1787. My Friend: I wrote you two days 
ago, but having since received a letter from Mr. Law, dated Charleston, Feb- 
ruary 1(5, I write again to send you the following abstract from it : 'A Cap- 
tain Moses S., of Providence, shipped two free negroes as seamen on board 
his vessel ; and when he arrived at this place, he, instead of paying them their 
wages, according to agreement, sold tlicm for slaves. A gentleman, whom I 
desired to inquire into the matter, informed me yesterday that they were re- 
deemed and set at liberty. But I think such iniquity ought not to go unpun- 
ished, if any law will take hold of it ; and I wish you to write to Mr. Moses 
Brown. If nothing more, it may be a means of their preventing others doing 
in like manner.' You will please to make what use of this you think best. 
He informs me that the Legislature in North Carolina had made a law ])rohib- 
iting the importing slaves into that State ; and that a senator, member of the 
Legislature of South Carolina, then sitting at Charleston, had told him that he 
did not doubt but a law of the same tenor would be enacted at that session." 

To Moses Broicn. — " August 13, 1787. My Kind Friend : Yours of July 17 
came to hand about the beginning of this month. I thank you for the intelli- 
gence you have taken pains to communicate to me. I have the same opinion 
of Dr. Thornton \ that you have entertained of him. I have seen the memo- 
rial that you, with your friends, presented to the General Assembly of this 
State, and highly approve of it. I have made a motion to most of the ministers 
in this town to join with all the ministers in this State, in presenting a memo- 
rial to the Assembly, of the same tenor with yours. Several of them approve, 
and say they will sign such a memorial, if I will draw one. But my situation 
and business will not admit of my applying to all the ministers in the State, 
before the Assembly is to sit. I hope to present the matter as soon as possi- 

But Clarkson, in his History, p- 91, iiiontions the petition of the Quakers tor the same 
object, in 1783; to which petition Mr. Hopkins here alludes. The House of Burg'csses, 
in Virginia, petitioned the King, on the first of April, 1772, for the abolition of the 
slave trade in their colony. 

* Rev. Levi Hart, of Preston, Connecticut, was an intimate friend of Hopkins, from 1760 
to 1803. He was a theological student of Bellamy, and married Rebecca, Bellamy's 
eldest daughter. He was among the original founders of the Missionary Society of 
Connecticut, and was active in forming the connection between the churches of Con- 
necticut and the Presbyterian General Assembly. He was a trustee of Dartmouth, and 
also of Yale College. He was a man of influence. At his funeral. Dr. Joel Benedict 
preached a sermon ; and on the following Sabbath Dr. Nathan Strong preached another 
sermon, in memory of his virtues. Both of these discourses were published. 

t The idea of this seems to have been suggested by the prize essay proposed in the 
year preceding, by Dr. Peckard, of Cambridge, England. Thomas Clarkson was the 
successful competitor for the premium, and derived from it his first interest in the cause 
of the slave. 

X One of the earliest friends of the colonization scheme. 


122 MEMOIR. 

ble. I do not think it likely that the Assembly will take the matter up, so aa 
to do any thing against the slave trade, at the next session. If they do not 
wholly dismiss the petition, I shall be glad. I have pretty good evidence that 
some of them speak fair words to you and your friends, who yet are deter- 
mined against doing any thing against the slave trade. I enclose to you an 
essay which I have attempted to get published in the Newport Herald. And 
the printer promised me that he would insert the whole of it at the head of his 
paper, this week, so that it should be out before the sitting of the Assembly. 
But he has since told me that he cannot print it, and has returned it. He says 
he has consulted his friends, and they tell him that it will greatly hurt his in- 
terest to do it ; that there is so large a number of his customers either in the 
slave trade, or in such connection with [it], or so disposed with respect to it, 
to whom it will give the greatest offence, that it is not prudent for liim to do 
it. He therefore wholly refuses to do it. Thus that wicked set of men in 
this town have got the printer in their hands, and have silenced the press, as 
other tyrants have done before them. In vain do I tell him, that he has fallen 
from his profession and promise when he first came here, and that his press is 
no more open and free. If, when you have read it, you shall think best to 
have it published, and Mr. Wheeler or Mr. Carter will do it, you have my free 
consent. I have erased Mr. E.'s name. His name who shall print it, if it be 
printed, must be inserted in the room of that. The length, perhaps, may be 
an objection, though Mr. PI did not object to that. If it cannot be all inserted 
in one paper, it may be divided and continued to the next. — I shall very 
thankfully accept of your kind offer of the loan of Ramsay's Treatise. I have 
desired to read it ever since I saw the account of it in Clarkson's Essay. You 
will please to send it by some safe conveyance, or commit it to the care of 
Bristol Yamma, a free negro, in Providence, whom I suppose you know. He 
will faithfully transmit it to me. This is to go through his hands. I send 
you one of the second edition of the Dialogue concerning the Slavery of the 
Africans, to which a short Appendix is added." 

In a letter of October 22, 1787, Mr. Hopkins remarks to Mr. 

Brown : 

" It has been objected by some of the ministers, against preferring a memo- 
rial to the General Assembly, respecting the slave trade, that the present rul- 
ing part in the Assembly have appeared to be so destitute of all principles of 
justice, or [of] regard to it, and have acted such an iniquitous part, that there is 
an impropriety in applying to them for justice ; especially for the ministers of 
the gospel to do it, whom they hold in the highest contempt, and would embrace 
any opportunity to pour contempt upon them ; which we should give them by 
laying such a petition before them. This prevents any thing of that kind 
being done at present." 

In the same letter, Mr. Hopkins alludes to a lengthened Essay, 
signed Crito, which he had written for the Providence Gazette and 
Country .Tournal. It was inserted in two successive numbers of that 
paper, October 6 and 13, 1787. Mr. Brown circulated copies of 
these paper? among the most influential statesmen of the land. The 
letters which follow disclose the celebrity which this Essay attained, 
and the importance attached to it. It is written in a more pungent 
and racy style than is generally ascribed to the Newport metaphy- 
sician. It is now republished in the Tract Society's edition of 
Hopkins's Works. 

To Dr. Levi Hart, of Preston, Connecticut. — " November 27, 1787. Rev- 
erend and Dear Sir: I write this to go by Plainfield, by General Douglass. 
By him I send to Mr, Steward several newspapers containing pieces respect- 

MEMOIR. 123 

ing the slave trade, and have desired him to transmit them to you. Perhaps, 
if you should think it worth while, you might get them reprinted in some 
Connecticut newspaper ; particularly the law made in this State against the 
slave trade. Rhode Island is in sucli low credit, or, rather, so infamous, that 
I fear their example will not have much influence, even when they do that 
which is worthy of imitation. Is it not extraordinary, tliat this State, which 
has exceeded the rest of the States in carrying on this trade, should be the 
first Legislature on this globe which has prohibited that trade ? Let tliem have 
the praise of this ; especially as the Assembly were so nearly unanimous, there 
being hut four dissenting voices. If Boston and Connecticut should not join 
us in this, I fear this law will soon be like some other Rhode Island laws." * 

To Dr. Levi Hart. — " November 27, at evening, 1787. Dear Sir : I have 
received a letter from Mr. Moses Brown, of Providence, wliich I conclude to 
enclose to you, with twelve pages which contain Crito, which he mentions, 
and wliich I mentioned in my letter of to-day, as conveyed to Mr. Steward, 
desiring him to put it into your hands. Moses Brown is a man of a respecta- 
ble cliaractcr, as an honest, sensible man. He is a man of interest. He was 
not educated a Quaker, but joined that sect some years ago. He is brother 
to the famous John Brown, tlie rich merchant in Providence.f This Moses 
was once concerned in tlie slave trade ; but for many years has been con- 
vinced of the iniquity of it, and his sin in practising it has lain heavy on his 
conscience. He thinks it his duty to do all in his power to put a stop to this 
traffic, and an end to the slavery of Africans, and to assist them to obtain their 
freedom, in all the ways he can. And he is active and unwearied in his en- 
deavors to promote these ends. And I must say, that he and a number of his 
brethren, who join him in this matter, have acted a judicious, faithful, and 
honorable part. We have no men of any other denomination in these States, 
who appear so conscientious, discerning, faithful, and zealous, in this matter, 
as these Quakers do; or who, in this respect, show so much of a Christian 
spirit. If we had a number of men of influence of this stamp in every State, 
the slave trade and slavery would be soon abolished. You will see by his 
letter what he desires of me. You are the only man I can apply to in Con- 
necticut, witli a view of answering any end respecting tliis matter. You have 
access to some gentlemen of influence. The Governor lives near you, and 
[you] can communicate any thing you please on this subject to him. Esquire 
Sherman is an honest man, and his influence is great ; and there are, doubt- 
less, others whom you know. There are, doubtless, clergymen, with whom 
you have such connection that you may excite them to use their influence in 
opposition to the slave trade, if it bo true that they are now carrying it on in 
Connecticut. You will do what you think prudence and duty ; and this is all 
that I can expect or desire. I have been truly ashamed, tliat the clergy in these 
States, and in New England in particular, have not, unitedly and publicly, 
borne testimony against this trade and the slavery of Africans. If the minis- 
ters of the gospel would now join in general, or by particular associations, to 
petition the General Assembly to suppress this trade, in imitation of the Qua- 
kers in this State, I think they would act a part which is very becoming to 
them, — yea, their incumbent duty, and honorable to their character. As to 
publishing the Crito, &c., which I have mentioned in my letter of this day, 

* The preceding section, and also the present, develop some inconsistency in the 
legislation of Rhode Island, with regard to the slave system. This vacillating policy 
annoyed the good divine. 

t John Brown laid the corner stone of the first building erected in Providence for 
Rhode Island College. The second building erected for the college was named in honor 
of a niece of Moses Brown ; and the college itself bears its present appellation in 
memory of his nephew, Nicholas. There were four brothers, all eminent men, of whom 
Moses was the youngest. He was an honor to human nature, and it is pleasant to 
reflect, that amid the deep poverty of Hopkins, he was so intimate with a Quaker of 
such princely fortune and more than princely virtue. See Genealogy of a Portion of 
the Brown Family, pp. 6, 7. Providence, 1851. 

124 MEMOIR. 

and which Mr. Brown mentions to me, you will judge what can be done and 
what is best. He, you will see, offers to be at the expense which shall be 
necessary, if any ; and I am not afraid to be his bondsman. He had fifty of 
each of the papers on which the Crito is printed struck off for him, and took 
pains to send them to most of the representatives and [members] of the Upper 
House, before the meeting of the Assembly ; and it is thought this had con- 
siderable influence in producing the law." 

To Moses Brown. — " January 5, 1788. Dear Sir : Ramsay's Essay came 
safe to me, which I return with thanks. I also thank you for two dozen of the 
Providence Gazette, and for your letter containing many particulars of which 
I was glad to be informed. I, without delay, wrote particularly to Mr. Hart, in 
Preston, in Connecticut, and enclosed your letter to him. He is an honest, 
sensible, active man, and has a particular acquaintance with the Governor of 
that State, and with others in public stations. He is ready to do all in his 
power to put a stop to the slave trade. I hope he will be able to do some- 
thing Avhich shall effect the suppression of it in that State. I have also sent 
Crito\s Essay to Dr. Cogswell, in New York, who is a member of the African 
Society, and not one of the least active. I proposed to him to get Crito 
reprinted in some of their public prints ; and that the society would enlarge 
their plan, and take into it endeavois to abolish the slave trade. 

" Several days ago, one of your committee, Mr. Wilkinson, called upon me, 
and informed me that there was a proposal to get Crito reprinted in several 
newspapers in Boston State, unless something which might more particular- 
ly be adapted to that State might be published. I told him I had not thought 
of any thing that would, in my view, be worth saying, which was not 
contained in that Essay ; but I Avould think of the matter, and if any tiling 
should occur to my mind on that head, I Avould inform you, as I should write 
to you the first opportunity. In this view, I have attended to it ; and have 
added two marginal notes, which I send to you with the papers containing the 
Essay. I am far from being confident that it is best, or worth while, to insert 
them, especially the first, but leave it with you and your friends to determine 
as you think best. One objection against inserting them is, that it will 
lengthen tlie Essay, whicli is now almost too long to be inserted in a news- 
paper. But I do not find myself able to abridge it. If you should get the 
Essay reprinted, as proposed, and think of inserting those marginal notes, I 
give you full liberty to make any alteration in them, by adding or subtract- 
ing, as you shall think best." 

To Moses Brown. — " February 2.5, 1788. My Kind Friend : When I wrote 
you [my] last [letter], which went with Ramsay's Essay, I informed you that 
I had forwarded your letter to me, with Crito on Slave Trade, to Mr. Hart, in 
Connecticut. I have since had a letter from him, informing that the printers 
of newspapers in Norwich and Hartford have engaged to print it in their re- 
spective papers, without cost. And that he shall exert himself to the utmost, 
and use all tlie influence he has, against the slave trade. And he adds 
the following : ' I hope the efforts of the honest and respectable society of 
Friends, in the cause of humanity, may be successful, to the extirpation of 
the slave trade from these States.' I have lately received a letter from Dr. 
Cogswell, of New York, a member of the African Society there, to whom I 
sent a copy of Crito, &c, I will transcribe a paragraph or two from him : ' I 
thank you for the newspapers containing Crito^s Essay. The African Society 
here have agreed to petition the Legislature of this State for a law to prevent 
the exportation and importation of negroes. Crito will be published about 
the time the petition is presented. The society here are using every measure 
that prudence dictates to put a stop to the slave trade. Their exertions have 
already been attended with very considerable effects. The minds of people 
are more awakened, and they think more liberally on the subject.' I am 
Gorry it is not in my power to send you copies of several letters our society 
have received from the African Society in London. But this must be omitted 

MEMOIR. 125 

till another opportunity. These would give you the information you wish 
respecting the proposed settlement on the coast of Africa. I can only inform 
you noiv, that five ships have actually sailed for the purpose of making a set- 
tlement there, and that the society in London seem much engaged to put a 
final period to this iniquitous traffic. For this purpose, they have sent Mr. 
Clarkson (author of Essay, &c.) into various parts of the kingdom of Great Brit- 
ain, to collect materials to lay before the public, that the evil may be exposed as 
fully as possible. ' They desire us to present them with all the information 
we can on the subject ; and likewise to inform them how those negroes be- 
have that have been liberated. I wish you, sir, to give me all the intelligence 
you can, on these points, from your State and from Massachusetts.' I tran- 
scribe the last clause to open the way to desire you to give me what informa- 
tion you can, respecting ' these points,' from Providence or any other parts. 
And if you should go to Boston soon, or have opportunity to send by any of 
your friends, I wish you to take measures to get information from thence. 
Mr. Eckley is most acquainted with the blacks there of any man I know, and 
is most likely to give the desired information respecting the freed blacks." 

To Moses Brown. — "September 24, 1788. My much respected Friend : I 
received your late letter, and thank you for tlie intelligence contained in it, 
and the enclosed paper and pamplilets. I enclosed your letter, with the peti- 
tion of the clergy, &c., in Boston, to the General Court, and the Providence 
paper which contains the law lately made in Pennsylvania, to Mr. Hart, of 
Preston, desiring him to forward them to Dr. Edwards, of New Haven ; which 
he writes me he shall do by the first opportunity. I have lately had authentic 
information, that the General Association, which is composed of members 
delegated from each particular Association of clergy in the State of Connecti- 
cut, and which was convened last June, unanimously agreed to present a me- 
morial and petition, in the name of all the clergy in that State, to the next 
General Assembly, wliich will sit next month, in New Haven, praying that a 
law may be made, to prohibit the slave trade in that State ; and that they ap- 
pointed a committee, of Avhom Dr. Edwards was one, to draw up said petition, 
and they adjourned to New Haven, to meet there tliis month to sign it. I am 
glad to hear that you, with a number of your friends, have proposed to apply 
to that Assembly on tlie same subject. I have no doubt of your succeeding." 

The first society in the world, for the abolition of slavery, seems 
to have been formed in Pliiladelphia.* A few Quakers of that city 
met often, in 1774, for the purpose of devising a scheme for the re- 
lief of the negroes. They formed a society, April 14, 1775. This 
society was resuscitated in April, 1784, and still a new impulse wag 
given to it in 1787, when Benjamin Franklin was chosen its Presi- 
dent. The second society was formed in New York, January 25, 
1785. The third was formed in Rhode Island, and of course en- 
gaged the interest of Mr. Hopkins more than the other two. The 
Maryland Abolition Society, likewise, was instituted in 1789. The 
Connecticut Society was instituted September 9, 1790 ; of which Dr. 
Stiles was President, and Judge Baldwin was Secretary. In the 

• A society was formed in England by Wilbcrforce, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and oth- 
ers, May 22, 1787, for the abolition of the slave trade ; but it refused to comply with 
the solicitation of Granville Sharp, and to include in its objects the entire abolition of 
glavery. See Prince Hoare's Life of Sharp, part iv. ch. ii. Six of the English Friends 
bad united in a kind of informal society for " the relief and liberation of the negro 
slaves in the West Indies, and for the discouragement of the slave trade on the coast 
of Africa," as early as July 7, 1783. ' See Clarkson's History, p. 95. 


126 MBKfOIR. 

formation of this society, Dr. Hart w^as very active, and was ap- 
pointed to preach the annual sermon before it in 1792. Virginia and 
New Jersey formed Abohtion Societies in or about 1791. 

It is said by one who resided at the time in Mr. Hopkins's family, 
that the first meeting for consultation, with regard to an Abolition 
Society in New England, was held in the large front parlor of his 
house. Several gentlemen from Providence were present. The 
Society, however, was not formally organized there. The reason may 
have been, that it would have met a more violent opposition in New- 
port than in Providence. It was regularly formed at Providence, 
February 20, 1789. A member of the old Congress, Judge David 
Howell, was its first President, and Governor Arthur Fenner one 
of its Standing Committee. Mr. Hopkins was not pleased with 
some articles of its Constitution. He desired that " a door [should] 
be fully open, for persons in any of the New England States to be- 
come members" of it. The following is from one of his character- 
istic, large-hearted letters on the subject, to Moses Brown : 

"March 7, 1789. Dear Sir: I have, with pleasure, seen the progress you 
have made in forming the society for the Abolition of Slavery, and trust it 
will answer important good ends. But I have objections to the title you have 
given the society : ' Tlie Providence Society for Abolishing the Slave Trade.' 
I think this is too confined. It should, at least, be extended to the u'hole State. 
And I think it ought not to be confined to the abolition of the slave trade. It 
ought to promote the freedom of tliose now in slavery, and to assist tliose who 
are free, as far as may be, to the enjoyment of the privileges of freemen, and 
the comforts of life. Those are, indeed, expressed in the preamble ; but why 
should they not come into the title of the society ? However, I do not so 
much insist upon the Inst objection as upon the frst. I told Mr. Wilkinson, 
who asked me to set my name to the constitution, that I was ready to do it, if, 
instead of Providence, Rhode Island or the State of Rhode Island might be 
inserted, and that I would sign it on that condition, that this alteration should 
be made; and if it were not, I would have liberty to withdraAv my subscrip- 
tion. He appeared to be convinced, from the reasons I offered, that the pro- 
posed alteration ought to be made, and said it might easily be done. Mr. 
Thomas Robinson and William Almy were present, and agreed with me. 
And I suppose all who are wilfing to subscribe, in this town, and in this part 
of the State, will insist upon this alteration." * 

At Providence, the Abolition Society was not without its powerful 
enemies. They asserted that it injured the reputation of the slave 
traders, some of whom were " the best citizens of Newport ; " it 
injured the character of the slaves by inducing them to run away ; 
it tended to prevent the slave trade, which was a real benefit to the 
Africans, as it saved them from the barbarities of their native land 

* Notwithstanding these early objections, Hopkins did become a member of the 
gociety, and as such delivered a sermon before it, in 1793. Its name was, ultimately, 
" The Providence Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, for the Relief of 
Persons unlawfully held in Bondage, and for Improving the Condition of the African 
Race." It contained, in 1790, one hundred and eighteen members, of whom sixty-eight 
lived in Massachusetts, and three in Connecticut. Jonathan Edwards was one of those 
three. — A deep jealousy prevailed at this lime between Providence and Newport. 



, MEMOIR. 127 

and introduced them into civilized regions : the spirit of the society 
was adverse to the Constitution of the United States, one article of 
which was made on purpose " to prevent the injustice which this society 
and thrir adherents " are practising. A bold assault was made upon 
the personal character of some officers of the society. To all this 
Moses Brown replied, with the beautiful calmness which ever adorned 
his mild life. .Tudge Howell came to the rescue with his keen ar- 
gument and his latinity of style. The opposition was the more 
serious, because the " Citizen " who prompted it was one of the 
mo.«t powerful men in the State. At the close of the affray, Hop- 
kins sent the following letters to Moses Brown : 

" Ararch 30, 1789. I wrote to my much respected friend, several weeks 
ago, v.liich [letter] I hope you have received. I am sorry to see the unhappy 
quarrel which has taken place, at Providence. I have the pleasure, however, 
of believing that the mad opposition the '■Citizen'' is making to the Abolition 
Society, and particular members of it, will be the means of strengthening it, 
and of promoting the design for which it has been formed. I am pleased to 
find you are enabled to maintain such a degree of calmness and fortitude, un- 
der the abuse which you and your friends have received from one who, unpro- 
voked, is casting firebrands, arrows, and death, and fighting with creatures of 
his own imagination. — I have lately received letters from Philadelphia, and I 
suppose you also have. The Corresponding Committee of the Abolition So- 
ciety there, rejoice to find a society is fonned in Providence. They will do 
all they can to assist and strengthen our hands. They have sent me an ac- 
count of a similar society lately fonned in Washington, in that State, which 
they desire may be printed in some New England newspaper. Edes has en- 
couraged me ho will insert it in his paper, this week. If he should not, I 
shall send it to you. If he should, I wish you to get it printed m one or both 
of the Providence papers. I have also been desired to publish the names of 
the Corresponding Committee in Philadelphia, which perhaps you will thirds 
proper to have published in [the] Providence papers. I am desired to inform 
my friends at Philadelpliia, whether Dr. Hitchcock and Mr. West, who are 
corresponding members of the Abolition Society in Pennsylvania, have joined 
the society at Providence ; or what part they have acted in the aftair. I must 
depend on you for information respecting them. I have heard that Dr. H. de- 
clined joining, at first ; but what part he has acted since, I have not been in- 
formed ; or for wliat reasons he declined joining in the first formation of the 
society. Since I saw Mr. Wilkinson, [I] have not heard what additions are 
made to the society, or how many joined, in Newport, or parts adjacent. I 
am sensible that the combination and influence in this town is strongly exert- 
ed against it; and many, who reprobate the slave trade and slavery, in their 
own minds, do not choose to appear openly against it, because they feel them- 
selves, in s(fme way, dependent on those whom they should hereby offend." 

" August 17, 1789. Much respected Friend: I also think it proper, and of 
importance, that the design of the society should be expressed so as to com- 
prehend, not only ' The Aholishing the Slave Trade,'' but the protection and as- 
sistance of those blacks who are free. They are, most of them, exposed to be 
injured, many ways. And they want direction and assistance in many in- 
stances. And if a way should be opened for their settling in Africa, and the so- 
ciety should, in any time hereafter, be able to promote and assist them in such 
a design, it would be desirable that it might be done consistent with the ex- 
press design of tlie society.* What attention has been paid by tlie society's 

* Here is a second allusion to the writer's colonization scheme. It deserves to be 
recorded, that the Providence Abolition Society not only adopted measures, such as the 

128 MEiMOIR. 

committee to the slave trade, as carried on in this town, I know not. There 
is no informing or corresponding committee here, I suppose. I have heard it 
observed, that it Avould bo proper to have a committee, or some of the commit- 
tee, here. But I question whether that would answer any good end. The 
combined opposition is so great and strong liere, that, I think, no committee 
formed in this town would be able to do much ; and if there should be any 
proper prosecutions, they must be carried on in Providence. However, there 
might be a corresponding committee here. But the wisdom of those who 
shall meet, will best determine this." 

"November 18, 1789. Dear Sir: I learn that it is a question before the 
society, Whether any prosecutions shall be commenced against those v.'hose 
vessels sailed on the slave trade, before the institution of the societif, but since 
the law made in this State took place. It appears to me, and I believe to 
most of the members in this town, if not to all, that if this question should be 
determined in the negative, the consequence will be very hurtful to the soci- 
ety, if not fatal. The past neglect to prosecute, and the known hesitation re- 
specting it, has had a great and apparent effect already. The slave traders 
are more bold and resolute to go on in the trade, and entertain a low and con- 
temptuous thought of the society. And if the prosecutions in question sliould 
be finally dropped, I am confident it will sink the society in tlie view of the 
public in general, and we shall lose our influence, and the design of the insti- 
tution Avill be, in a great measure, defeated. I think that lenity in this case, 
or any thing that looks like irresolution, neglect, and dilatoriness, will fix a 
slur on the society Avhich cannot easily be wiped off", but will sink it into dis- 
credit. Perhaps you and others have formed a different and better judgment, 
on reasons which do not occur to me. But I thought it duty thus freely to 
express mine, trusting it will not give any offence. Mr. Hart informed me 
that a number of merchants in Norwich have lately gone into the slave trade. 
But it is under such cover, that he knows not that such evidence of the act 
can be obtained as to afford ground for a legal prosecution. Perhaps time 
will bring forth evidence." 

"March 11, 1790. Dear Sir: I have just received yours of the first instant, 
by Mr. Buffinn, and thank you for the communication. I think the matter 
ought to be pursued to effect, if the negro can be recovered by law, or [the 
' Citizen '] made to suffer the rigor of the law for the good of others. I am 
no lawyer, so cannot assist in pointing out the method in which the case ought 
to be prosecuted, but trust you have men able to counsel, at Providence. Mr. 
Marchant * is not in town. If he were, I would lay the matter before him, 
and see what he [would] say upon it. It is high time [this ' Citizen '] was 
taken down a little, f Granville Sharp, Esq. has sent to me several copies of 
' A Short Sketch of Temporary Regulations, &c.' I present one to you, to 
use it and dispose of it as you think proper." 

It has been common to speak of Hopkinsianism as an impracti- 
cable scheme. Hopkins liimsclf, however, must be considered a 
practical man. It was, doubtless, a self-denial for him to leave his 
studies in theolo<ry, and mingle with flie politics of the day. The 
preceding letters indicate the zeal with which he engaged in pe- 
titioning legislatures, encouraging legal prosecutions, etc. He was 
evidently tJic man in Rhode Island, to whom appeals were made 

memorializing of Congress and various Stale Legislatures for the prevention of the 
slave traffic, but was also energetic in protecting free blacks, who were often assailed in 
the streets, kidnapped, and sent from Rhode Island to other States. 

* Hon. Henry Marchant, LL. D., District Judge, an intimate friend of Dr. Stiles. 

t This could be more easily proposed than accomplished, for the gentleman eilluded 
to was one of the most eminent men in New England. 

MEMOIR. 129 

from the North and .the South, with regard to even the details of 
political action on the subject of slavery. It is not to be inferred, 
that he deemed it wise to make himself prominent in all political 
disputes. He stepped on the arena of civil strife, only when the 
cause of religion seemed to demand his intervention. He knew how 
to make exceptions to a rule. This knowledge is a great part of 
what is called " common se7ise." 


The influence of this reformer in lessening the evils of slavery 
proceeded not alone from his direct animadversions on the system, 
but also from his scheme for planting the institutions of the gospel 
upon the African continent. His eftbrts in prosecuting this scheme, 
awakened the attention of many Americans and Britons to the im- 
portance of abolishing the whole slave system. There is an inti- 
mate union between evangelizing the African when at home, and 
freeing him from his chains when abroad. It was religious principle 
that prompted Hopkins to his efforts against slavery, and these 
eftbrts were allied with an attempt to infuse a religious principle into 
others. Soon after his installation at Newport, in 1770, he formed 
a plan for sending the gospel to Africa. After he had matured it in 
his own mind, he held a consultation on the subject with his theo- 
logical opponent, Dr. Stiles.* The Doctor at first viewed the plan 
with indifterence, not to say distrust. His suspicion that Hopkins 
was desirous of trying an experiment with the " New Divinity " 
upon the dark natives of Guinea may, of right, provoke a smile. In 
Stiles's Literary Diary, we read : 

" April 8, 1773. Yesterday Mr. Hopkins came to see me and discourse 
with me on a design he is meditating, to make some negro ministers and send 
them to Guinea. Mr. Hopkins supposes the great reason why the gospel is 
not received, is because it is mixed with so many false glosses. He believes 
the Moravians have no Christianity, — most Christians embrace delusions ; — 
and I never find him approving the doctrines usually preached in any churches 
now in Christendom, whether Congregational, Presbyterian, or, &c. He 
looks upon all the Protestant churches and ministers in general, as so errone- 
ous and corrupt, that their preacliing tends directly to spread delusion, and 
lead souls religiously down to hell. This is his opinion, to be sure, of most of 
the New England ministers ; except forty or fifty, out of five or six hundred 
ministers. There are about twenty or twenty-five ministers who fall in with 
Mr. Hopkins's peculiarities, and twenty more who admire Mr. Edwards's 
writings, and have a hearty friendship for Mr. Hopkins, though ratlier as they 
are friends to all Calvinists, than for all his singularities.f I suppose there 

* This amiable genilcman had been in a worse condemnation than Edwards, Bellamy, 
or Hopkins, with regard to slavery ; for he iiad not only owned, but also imported fresh 
from Africa a slave, whom, however, he afterwards freed. 

t Dr. Siiles here expresses the general opinion of his times with regard to the diflcr- 
ence between Edwardean or Hopkinsian Calvinism, and the ordinary Calvinism of New 
England. Every body regarded Edwards and Hopkins as introducing a new phasis of 

130 MEMOIR. -' 

are three or four hundred more true Calvinist ministers in New England, who 
disclaim these peculiarities. I do not find that Mr. flopkins speaks with ap- 
probation of any of them, though I rather think that he esteems some of them.* 
Yet he is evidently endeavoring to conciliate them, as a distinct body among 
the churches. But he does not meet with that success in propagating his 
sentiments in New England which he would wish. And Dr. Witherspoon, 
and tlie Synods to the southward in general, are against him. I have thought, 
whether he had not an inclination that the experiment of his principles should 
be tried on heathen Africans. There are two negro men, communicants in 
his church, that he is disposed to train up for this end. The one is Quamine, 
a free negro, and the other, Yamma, a servant. Now, if he could engage 
some respectable persons to join in forwarding this affair, he thinks it would 
lay a foundation of Christianizing the Africans on principles to his mind. He 
wants, therefore, to contrive that these two negroes should be taken under 
tuition, perfected in reading the Scriptures, and taught systematical divinity, 
and so ordained and sent forth. I told him that if thirty or forty proper and 
well-instructed negroes could be procured, true Christians, and inspired with 
the spirit of martyrdom, and go forth [expecting that] } ten or a dozen of them 
should meet death in the cause, and this conducted by a society formed for 
the purpose, there might be a hopeful prospect. But even this, I feared, 
would be taken up by the public and secularized, as Dr. Wheelock's Indian 
College, which has already almost lost sight of its original design ; that if 
one or two should be sent thither by Presbyterians, I could foresee a vigorous 
opposition soon arising from the Episcopalian traders, and from Mr. Quaque, 
a negro minister, already sent there from the Church of England. So we 
left the matter to further thought and consideration. Mr. Hopkins desired 
me to talk with Quamine, and examine his abilities, which I said I was 
ready to do. 

" April 13. Last evening, Quamine came to see me, to discourse upon the 
scheme of his becoming a minister. He tells me that he was born at Anna- 
maboe, on the African Gold Coast ; that when he was about ten years old, hia 

father delivered him to Captain , to bring him to Rhode Island for 

learning. He came here about eighteen or nineteen years ago, or 1754 or 1755. 
After sending him to school a while, the captain sold him for a slave. About 
1701, he fell under serious impressions of religion, and thenceforward sought 
to God by secret prayer, about three years. At length, it pleased God that he 
experienced, as he hopes, a divine change, of which he gave an account to 
Madam Osborn, in writing, which he addressed to her, dated October 8, 1764, 
dictated by Quamine, and written by his female fellow-servant ; and after- 
wards in another to Deacon Coggeshall, which Mr. Hopkins brought me 
yesterday. In 1765, he made a profession, was baptized by Rev. Mr. Vinall, 
and admitted a member in the First Congregational Church in town, and has 
behaved exemplarily and soberly ever since. He tells me that ever since he 
tasted the grace of the Lord Jesus, he [has felt an] earnest desire or wish 
that his relations and countrymen in Africa might also come to the knowledge 
of, and taste the same blessed things. 

" I examined his reading, and asked him what part of the Bible he had read 
most. He said, Matthew, John, Romans, and Corinthians. I turned him to 
the first chapter of John's Gospel. He read but indifferently; not freely, but 
slowly, yet distinctly, and pretty accurately. I turned him to the tenth chap- 
ter, and also [to the] ninety-eighth Psalm, which he read slowly, and though 
not freely, yet distinctly. I advised him to read the Bible in course, two or 

* That Mr. Hopkins was accustomed to take rather dark views of his times there 
can be no doubt. In a letter dated July 7, 1766, he characterizes a certain class of 
Massachusetts ministers, as " awfully sunken creatures.'' Still, the picture here g'iven 
of him by Dr. Stiles, seems to be overshaded. The worthy diarist probably gave too 
literal and exact an interpretation to some of Mr. Hopkins's strong language. 

t The words in brackets are substituted for an obscure phrase in the original. 

MEMOIR. 131 

three chapters daily, to perfect himself in reading, while, at the same time, 
he would increase in Scripture knowledge. He has had but little time for 
reading ; seldom any but Lord's days. I did not try him as to writing, but 
he said he had begun to write last winter. He is pretty judicious, but not 
communicative, and I am doubtful whether he would be apt to teach. He 
certainly wants much improvement to qualify him for the gospel ministry, if, 
indeed, such a thing was advisable." 

The preceding narrative of Dr. Stiles impresses upon us the con- 
viction, that tlie literary prospects of these two candidates for the 
ministry were somewhat ominous. It is delightful to reflect on the 
resolute, unwavering, indomitable spirit of Hopkins, in taking men 
from this low condition, and training them for a missionary work on 
tiie African continent. If the wisdom of the enterprise be doubted, 
its benevolence will be admired. It did secur'e the approbation of 
the wisest men ; for they have always known, that great results 
come from small beginnings. 

Dr. Stiles had a true benevolence of heart, and also a profound 
respect for the divine, whose high Calvinism he disliked. He en- 
tered at last into a cordial union with Mr. Hopkins, in ])romotiiig the 
spiritual good of Africa, and he signed his name to the following 
Circular, which was written mainly by Mr. Hopkins, and was dis- 
tributed among the churches of Massachusetts and Connecticut. 

" To all who are desirous to promote the kingdom of Christ on earth, in the 
salvation of sinners, the following narrative and proposal are offered, to excite 
and solicit their charity and prayers. 

" There are two colored men, members of the First Congregational Church 
in Newport,* on Rhode Island, named Bristol Yamina, and John Quamine, 
who were hopefully converted some years ago, and have from that time sus- 
tained a good character as Christians, and have made good proficiency in 
Christian knowledge. The latter is son of a rich man at Annamaboe, and was 
sent by his fother to this place for an education among the English, and then 
to return home. All this the person to whom he was committed engaged to 
perform, for a good reward. But, instead of being faithful to liis trust, he sold 
him a slave for life. But God, in his providence, has put it in the power of 
both of them to obtain their freedom. The former is, however, fifty dollars in 
debt, as he could not purchase his freedom under two hundred dollars ; which 
he must procure by his labor, unless relieved by the charity of others. 

" These persons, thus acquainted with Christianity, and apparently devoted 
to the service of Christ, are about thirty years old; have good natural abili- 
ties; are apt, steady, and judicious, and speak their native language, — the 
language of a numerous, potent nation in Guinea, to which they both belong. 
They are not only ivillincr, but ver?/ desirous to quit all worldly prospects, and 
risk their lives in attempting to open a door for the propagation of Christianity 
among their poor, ignorant, perishing heathen brethren. 

" The concurrence of all these things has led to set on foot a proposal to 
send them to Africa, to preach the gospel there, if, upon trial, they shall ap- 
pear in any good measure qualified for this business. In order to this, they 
must be put to school, and taught to read and write better than they now can, 
and be instructed more fully in divinity, &c. And if, upon trial, they appear 
to make good proficiency, and shall be thought by competent judges to be fit 

• This church, it will be recollected, was under the pastoral charge of Dr. Hopkins. 



for such a mission, it is not doubted that money may be procured sufficient to 
carry the design into execution. 

" What is now wanted and asked is money to pay the debt mentioned, and 
to support them at school, to make the trial whether they may be fitted fiDr the 
proposed mission. Whatever shall be given to this end, and put into the 
hands of the subscribers, they engage faithfully to improve to this purpose 
only, and to promote the proposed mission according to their best discretion ; 
and to be at all times ready to give an account to those who desire it, of all 
they shall receive, and the manner in which it has been expended. 

" As God has, in his providence, so far opened the way to this, by raising 
up these persons, and ordering the remarkable concurring circumstances and 
events which have been mentioned, and there is, most probably, no other in- 
stance in America, where so many things conspire to point out the way for a 
mission of this kind, with such encouragement to pursue it, may it not be 
hoped it Avill have the patronage and assistance of all the pious and benev- 
olent ? 

" And it is humbly proposed to those who are convinced of the iniquity of 
the slave trade, and are sensible of the great inhumanity and cruelty of enslav- 
ing so many thousands of our fellow-men every year, with all the dreadful and 
horrid attendants, and are ready to bear testimony against it in all proper 
ways, and do their utmost to put a stop to it, whether they have not a good 
opportunity of doing this, by clieerfuUy contributing according to their ability, 
to promote the mission proposed ; and whether this is not the best compensa- 
tion we are able to make the poor Africans, for the injuries they are constantly 
receiving by this unrighteous practice and all its attendants. 

" But, aside from this consideration, may it not be hoped that all who are 
heartily praying, Thy kingdom come, will liberally contribute to forward this 
attempt to send the glorious gospel of the blessed God to the nations who now 
worship false gods, and dwell in the habitations of cruelty, and the land of the 
shadow of death; especially, since the King of Zion has promised that who- 
soever parts with any thing in this world, for the kingdom of God's sake, shall 
receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life ever- 
lasting. Ezra Stiles, 

Samuel Hopkins. 

« Newport, Rhode Island, August 31, 1773." 

This truly missionary appeal secured an immediate and an en- 
couraging response. In a letter dated February 7, 1774, Hopkins 
writes to Dr. Hart : 

" I thank you for your letter from Providence, and the enclosed from Mr. 
Potter. I have communicated it to Dr. Stiles, and we both think Dr. Whee- 
lock's proposals cannot take place to any advantage. At present, it is thought 
best the negroes should continue at Newport, as they live cheaper here than 
they could elsewhere, and are instructed girttis. And they would be little or 
no advantage to Dr. Wheelock's negro boy, in his learning their native lan- 
guage, as 'tis not best they should attend to that much, now. If that boy was 
otherwise fitted, and the mission should take effect, he might go with them, or 
after they had made the first attempt, and would soon learn the language by 
their assistance. If you write. Dr. Stiles and I desire you to present our com- 
pliments to Dr. Wheelock, and thank him for his kind offer of his assistance, 
and his good wishes to the design. 

" Our society of women contributed the first time to promote the African 
mission, last Tuesday, which they spent together as a day of fasting and 
prayer for the advancement of the kingdom of Christ. Mr. Gordon has in- 
formed me that £5 sterling is ready for me in a merchant's hands in Boston. 
The ministers in Berkshire county have sent a letter to Dr. Stiles and me, 
highly approving of our design, and earnestly wishing it success. And Mr. 

MEMOIR. 133 

West has sent £3 16s. lawful [money], which was contributed by them, ex- 
cept three dollars of it, which Miss Pamela Dwight generously gave. 

" Dr. Stiles and I tliink the forwardness to promote the African mission, 
manifested by you and tlie ministers in coimection with you, and a number 
among your people and Mr. Benedict's, and your and their generous contribu- 
tions toward it, worthy of particular notice ; and we desire you, as you have 
opportunity, to express to them our thankful acknowledgments, and wishes 
that they may have the reward wliich is promised to every one who parts with 
this world's goods, for the kingdom of God's sake. 

" Nothing new since the last date, except that the Doctor and I have re- 
ceived a line from the North Association in Hartford county, informing that 
they approve of the proposal, in general ; but wait for information by which 
they may judge of the probability of the negroes being qualified for and suc- 
cessful in the proposed mission, in order to do any thing to encourage it." 

It is always difficult to separate theological partialities from prac- 
tical beneficence. Human nature works its way into the best schemes. 
Some friends of Dr. Stiles were not so liberal to the African mission 
as were the friends of Mr. Hopkins. In the Literary Diary of Dr. 
Stiles we find the following morceau : " October 6, 1773. I received 
a letter from Dr. Chauncy, in which hp asks an account of the two 
negroes intended for the African mission. He thinks a white mis- 
sionary ought to go with them, and should not be educated by Mr. 
H ; for he thinks that the negroes had better continue in pagan- 
ism than embrace Mr. H 's scheme, which he judges far more 

blasphemous." * 

But Mr. Hopkins was not a man who would allow a theological 
prejudice to defeat a benevolent sclieme. Probably for the sake of 
allaying such a prejudice, he consented that the two negroes should 
be sent to Princeton ; for although he dissented from some of the 
theories which were taught there, still he was too catholic to deny, 
that the " substance of doctrine " was retained at the college of Ed- 
wards and Burr. Accordingly we read in Stiles's Literary Diary : 

" November 22, 1774. Yesterday morning sailed from hence for New 
York, in their way to Princeton, Bristol Yamma and .Tohn Quamine, two 
freed negroes of tliis town, designed for an African mission. We have sent 
them to reside some time at Jersey College, under the tuition of President 
Witherspoon. Last night there was a very severe s.torm and high wind, — a 
very dangerous gale. They arrived safe at New York." Two days after- 
ward. Dr. Stiles records, " November 24. To-day, Mr. Hopkins and I signed 
a set of bills for £50 sterling; being three bills dated this day, which we 
drew on Mr. John Mcintosh, of Lothbnry, London, by order of the Society 
in Edinburgh for Promoting Christian Knowledge, in a letter to us from Mr. 

* Between Dr. (Chauncy, of Boston, and Mr. Hopkins, one would not anticipate a 
tlieoloijical harmony. For many years there ha(i been a mutual dread of each other. 
In a letter to Dr. Bellamy, dated July 2.5, 17f)7, Mr. Hopkins writes : " All the ttnrir- 
ctimcised, in and about Boston, set up Dr. Chauncy as the standard, and say he has 
struck out the right path in his sermons. Mr. Blair [of Old South Church] is zealous 
to have some remarks made upon ihem, as he thinks they contain the sum of all the 
poison artfully intermixed and concealed. I believe if he could be well exposed and 
taken down, it would ^ivc the g'reatest blow to that powerful and rising parly ; and 
wish you would carefully read him with that view, if your health will permit. I have 
bought and brought hint home with me." 

134 MEMOIR. 

James Forrest, dated February last, it being for the use of educating Bristol 
and Quamine, two negroes, for the African mission." 

On the 10th of April, 1776, Dr. Stiles and Mr. Hopkins signed a 
second Circular, and afterward published it in a pamphlet. It was 
written, as was the first, mainly by Hopkins, and exhibits remark- 
able evidence of his perseverance in the missionary work at that 
early day. After quoting their Appeal of August 31, 1773, they 

" In consequence of this proposal [to educate the two negroes for the Afri- 
can mission], numbers have generously contributed to promote the desig^n ; 
and we have received £102 Is. 4d. 3/"., lawful money ; of which £55 8s. 3/". 
has been given in New England ; £30 sterling has been given by the Soci- 
ety in Scotland for Propagating Christian Knowledge ; and a gentleman in 
London has sent us £5 sterling. And we have had encouragement, both 
from Scotland and England, that more would be given, if wanted, and the 
proposed mission should take place. But all intercourse with Great Britain 
is now cut off. 

" We have had the approbation of a number of gentlemen who have seen 
the proposal. The presbytery of New York, and the associated ministers of 
several counties in Connecticut, have written us, highly approving of the de- 
sign. Mr. Forrest, clerk of the society in Scotland, mentioned above, writes 
in the follovring words : 

" ' The perusal of this memorial * gave great satisfaction to the directors, while 
it excited their admiration at the various secret and seemingly most unlikely 
means, whereby an all-wise Providence sees meet to accomplish his gracious 
purposes. At the same time, they rejoiced at the fair prospect now afforded 
to extend the Mediator's kingdom to those nations who dwell, at present, in 
the habitations of cruelty, and in the land of the shadow of death. After 
saying so much, it is almost unnecessary to add, that the plan suggested in your 
memorial received the warmest approbation of the directors of the society, 
and that they highly applauded your pious zeal in this matter, which they 
earnestly wish and hope may be crowned with success.' 

" The two men above mentioned have been at school and under instruction 
most of the time since the date of the above proposal. They have spent one 
winter at Princeton, under the care of Dr. Witherspoon, President of the 
college there. And they have made such proficiency, and are in such a 
measure qualified for the mission proposed, that they would enter upon it 
directly, were there opportunity to send them to Africa, (which there is not 
at present, by reason of the state of our public affairs,) and had we money 
sufficient to furnish them for this purpose. 

" Since this design has been on foot, means have been used f to get intelli- 
gence of John Quamine's family, by writing to Philip (^iiaque, a colored man, 
and native of Guinea, who is missionary from the Society in London for Propa- 
gating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, and resides at Cape Coast Castle, by 
relating to him the manner of his being brought from Guinea, and sending his 
description of his father's family, and informing that he was now free, and 
had thoughts of returning to his native country, &-c. In answer to which he 
writes as follows : 

"'It is with inexpressible pleasure and satisfaction that I acquaint you, that 

* The Circular of August 31, 1T73, quoted above on p. 131. 

t Mr. Hopkins wrote a letter of inquiry to Mr. Quaque, on this subject. Mr. 
Quaque was an Episcopal missionary, ordained in 1765. He died October 17, 1816, 
aged seventy-five years, having been a useful chaplain and teacher in his native land 
about half a century. 

MEMOIR. 135 

my inquiries after tlie friends and relations of that gentleman have met with 
the desired success. The minute account he entertains you with of his fami- 
ly and kindred, is just. For, by inqnirinir, I have found his father's name to 
be the same which you mention, who has been dead many years. His mother's 
name is as you have written it, who is still alive, and whom I had the pleasure 
of seeing. But the bowels of maternal aifection — in truth do I declare it — 
seem ready to burst, and break forth in tears of joy, like Jacob when he heard 
that his beloved son Joseph was yet alive. The joy it kindled on the occa- 
sion, in expectation of seeing once more the fruit of her loins before she with 
her gray hairs goes down to the grave, throws her into ecstasies resembling 
Jacob's, and in raptures she breaks forth and sajss. It is enough ! My son is 
yd alive ! I hope, by God''s blessing, to see him before I die. His uncle is called 
by the same name mentioned in your favor. In short, every circumstance is 
agreeable to the description given mo in your letter. A great personage of 
his family, whose name is Ojhree, and now enjoys his father's estate, desires, 
with great importunity, tliat I would earnestly petition you that he may be 
returned to them as soon as may be, and promises that nothing shall be want- 
ing to make him, and all about him, comfortable and happy among his own 
kindred. And the whole family unanimously join in requesting me to render 
you all the grateful acknowledgments and thanks they are able to return for 
your paternal care and affection exercised toward him, and beg me to tell you, 
tliat as it is not in their power to requite you for all your trouble, they there- 
fore hope that the good God of Heaven will recompense you hereafter for 
your labor of love bestowed on him.' 

" In a letter of a later date, he writes in the following manner : 

" ' The mother is still looking with impatience for the return of her son, once 
dead and lost. She, and the principal cousin, who possesses the estate of his 
father, join in earnestly entreating you would, in your Christian love and 
charity to them, send the lad again, that he may receive their cordial em- 
braces, looking upon themselves sufficient to support him. I received the 
charitable proposals, and sincerely thank you therefor. And I am joyful to 
hear, that there are Africans with you who partake of the blessings of the 
gospel, and in time may be the means of promoting the greatest and best in- 
terest of Africans here. I wish to God for its speedy accomplishment, when 
the nation who are now called not the children of Jehovah, shall become the 
prophets of the Lord, and the children of the living God. May the benedic- 
tion of the Almighty prosper all their undertakings, to the saving of many 

" A native of Annamaboe has lately arrived at Newport, who is a free man, 
and appears to be a sensible, inquisitive person, and is recommended by the 
captain he came with, as a man of integrity and good behavior. He is a re- 
lation of John Quamine's, and well acquainted with his family, and confirms 
the above account. He expresses a desire to learn to read, &c., and to be 
instructed in the Christian religion, sensible that he and his countrymen are 
ignorant of tlie way in which men may find favor with God, and that they 
stand in need of a revelation from him, in order to know what he requires of 
them. He says, he has heard we have such a revelation among us, and he 
desires to know what it contains. He informs, that he knows of a number of 
youths at Annamaboe, who have a great desire to learn to read and write, 
&.C., and would come into these parts for that end, were they not afraid of 
being deceived and sold. He appears pleased with the proposal to send 
blacks to teach his people, and thinks they will be kindly received and at- 
tended to. 

" There is another colored man, named Salmar JVubia, a member of the Sec- 
ond Congregational Church * in Newport, who is promising as a person of 
a good genius, and giving evidence of real piety. He is about twenty years 

* This church was under the pastoral charge of the Rev. Dr. Stiles. 

136 MEMOIR. 

old, and has lately had his freedom given to him. He is greatly desirous and 
engaged, in some way to promote the spread of the gospel among the Afri- 
cans. We think there is good encouragement to be at the expense of fitting 
him for a missionary or a schoolmaster among them. 

"What has been given to promote this design is nearly expended al- 
ready ; — a particular account of the expenses any one who pleases may see 
at any time. Money is now wanted still to carry it on, — to support these 
men till they have an opportunity to go to Guinea, — to furnish them with 
necessaries for their voyage and mission, — to set up schools to teach the 
youth and children, if a way shall open for this ; and for any other services 
to promote tliis important design, as God in his providence shall direct. 

" Since it has pleased God so far to succeed this design in his providence, 
and in such a remarkable manner to open the way, from step to step, and give 
such hopeful prospects, and good encouragement to pursue it, we think it our 
duty still to prosecute it, and ask the benefactions of all who shall be willing 
to promote an undertaking in itself so benevolent ; and which, though small 
in its beginning, may hopefully issue in something very great, and open the 
way to the happiness and salvation of multitudes ; yea, of many nations, who 
are now in tlie most miserable state, ready to perish in the darkness of 

" We beg leave also to obser\'e, that the present state of our public affairs 
is so far from being a reason for neglecting this proposal, that it seems rather 
to afford strong reasons to encourage it. For while we are struggling for our 
civil and religious liberties, it will be peculiarly becoming and laudable to 
exert ourselves to procure the same blessings for others, so far as it is in our 
power. And when God is so remarkably interposing, and ordering such a 
series of events in our favor, in this time of general distress, is there not a 
special call to pay tliis tribute to him, according as he has prospered us, as 
one likely method to obtain the continuance of his favor and protection ? 

Ezra Stiles, 
Samuel Hopkins." 

The revolutionary war interrupted these missionary exertions of 
Hopkins for a time, but cigliteen years after he had commenced 
them, he wrote to Dr. Hart with as fresh an interest as ever : 

" June ] 0, 1791. I also received a letter [by a late arrival] from the Rev. Mr. 
Kemp, Secretary of the Society in Scotland for Propag»iting Christian Knowl- 
edge, which I propose to enclose to you for your judgment and advice. — 
Bristol Yamma is the first black on my list for a missionary. Salinar Nubia, 
alias Jack Mason, has been thought of for another, by Dr. Stiles and me. He 
is sufficiently zealous to go. He came from the windward coast. The 
nation to Avhich he belongs is at a great distance from the sea. He retains 
his native language in a considerable degree. I suppose you were ac- 
quainted with him when he lived at Preston. Newport Gardner is, in my 
view, next to Bristol, and in some things excels him. He is a discerning, 
judicious, steady, good man ; and feels greatly interested in promoting a 
Christian settlement in Africa, and promoting Christianity there.* These I 
consider as the first three in America for such a design. Newport's master 
offers to free him, his wife, and all his children but one, on condition he will 
live with him two years from the first of this month, and receive three dollars 
per month during that term. This oflier is beyond our expectation, and we 
hope he will yet give up the condition last mentioned. 

" If it were thought best that a white man should go with them,t perhaps 
a man cannot be found, of a character suited to such a business, who would 

* Here is an allusion to Hopkins's favorite plan of Christian Colonization. 
t See Dr. Chauncy's proposition on p. 133, abore. 

MEMOIR. 137 

be willing to undertake. You must be one to judge of the qualifications of 
those who are proposed to be missionaries, and to make report to the society 
in Scotland. And you must plan, advise, and prosecute. I am too old to do 
much. Perhaps you can influence the African Society in Connecticut to 
approve of some plan of this kind, and to exert themselves to get subscribers 
to promote the design. If application were made by them, or a committee 
authorized by them to the Legislature, to grant a brief for a contribution in 
all the congregations through the State, it might be obtained. The African 
Societies in Pennsylvania, New York, and this State, are composed of so 
many Quakers, who make the most active, ruling part ; and they, for some 
reason or other, are not disposed to promote such a design. Therefore, there 
is no encouragement to apply to them for assistance. If the society in Con- 
necticut should take the lead in promoting such a design, perhaps they might 
fall in afterwards, and join to carry it on. You will return the enclosed letter, 
when you have made all the use of it you think proper." 

The correspondence of our philanthropist, on his favorite project 
of evangelizing Africa, was more extensive than has been supposed. 
He wrote to Britons and Americans, to men and women, to blacks 
and whites. Among others whom he addressed on the subject, was 
that interesting negress, Phillis Wheatley.* One would scarcely ex- 
pect that a logical divine, at the age of fifty-three, would devote 
himself to the bushiess of selling copies of a poetical volume, which 
was written by a female slave at the age of tvventy.f But there was 
nothing, honest and proper, wliich this enterprising man was unwill- 
ing to do for the welfare of the African race. He was not so ver- 
satile as he was strong, yet he had a richer variety of gifts than has 
been commonly ascribed to him. The nature of his correspondence 
with Phillis Wheatley is disclosed in the following letter, which she 
wrote to him, a few months after her book of poetry was published 
in London. She was about twenty-one years old at the date of her 
epistle. The chirography of it is remarkably beautiful. It is here 
copied verbatim et literatim. 

" Reverend Sir : I received your kind letter last evening by Mr. Pember- 
ton, by whom also this is to be handed you. I have also received the money 
for the five books I sent Obour, and 25. Qd. more for another. She has 
wrote me, but the date is 29 April. I am very sorry to hear, that Philip 
Quaque has very little or no apparent success in his mission. Yet I wish 
that what you hear respecting him may be only a misrepresentation. Let us 
not be discouraged, but still hope that God will bring about his great work, 
though Philip may not be the instrument in the divine hand to perform this 
work of wonder, turning the Africans '■from darkness to light.'' Possibly, if 
Philip would introduce himself properly to them, (I don't know the reverse,) 
he might be more successful ; and in setting a good example, which is more 
powerfully winning than instruction. I observe your reference to the maps 
of Guinea and Salmon's Gazetteer, and shall consult them. I have received, 
in some of the last ships from London, three hundred more copies of my 
poems, and wish to dispose of them as soon as possible. If you know of any 
being wanted, I flatter myself you will be pleased to let me know it, which 
will be adding one more to the many obligations already conferred on her, 

* See an account of her in Allen's Biographical Dictionary. 

t Dr. Channing says, p. 110, above, that Hopkins had no relish for poetry. 




•who is, with a due sense of your kindness, your most humble and obedient 
servant, Phillis Wheatlet. 

" Boston, May 6, 1774. — The Reverend S. Hopkins." 

As early as 1773, a society had been formed in Newport, under 
the auspices of Mr. Hopkins and Dr. Stiles, for the education and 
subsequent maintenance of these African missionaries. He then gave 
to this society the hundred dollars for which, in the days of his 
ignorance, he had sold his slave. Twenty years afterward, in 1793-4, 
when he received nine hundred dollars for the copyright of his Sys- 
tem of Divinity, he contributed one hundred of it to this society. It 
was an Education Society. It was also a Foreign Missionary So- 
ciety. In connection with it, there was a kind of monthly concert 
for prayer. It was probably in allusion to this concert, that Dr. 
Channing says : * "It was my habit, in the years 1800 and 1801, 
to attend a monthly meeting of prayer for the revival and spread of 
religion. Our number sometimes did not exceed twenty or thirty. 
Still, a collection was taken for missionary purposes, and, as most 
of us were very poor, our contributions did not greatly exceed the 
widow's mite. On one occasion, as I have heard from Dr. Patten, 
however, a hundred dollar bill appeared in the box. Dr. Hopkins 
had received the same for the copyright of one of his books, and he 
made this offering at a time when he received next to no salary, and 
often, as I understood, depended for his diimer on the liberality of 
a parishioner." t 


The plan which Mr. Hopkins formed for evangelizing Africa, was 
also a plan for colonizing it with reputable negroes from America. 
From various intimations it is probable, that he distinctly meditated 
this plan of colonization as early, at least, as April, 1773. He did 
not intend to dissociate the missionary life of the Africans whom he 
educated, from the civilized life of the Africans whom he would fain 
send out with these missionaries. His colonization was to be re- 
ligious in its spirit and aims. 

The first distinct allusion which we find to his scheme for plant- 
ing a colony of liberated slaves in Africa, proves that the scheme was 
then far from being a novelty in his mind. It is mentioned as a 
plan which had been contemplated for some time. Thus he writes 
to Moses Brown the following very distinct words : 

* Letter of February 14, 1810. 

t Letter of February 14, 1840. It is possible that Dr. Channing here alludes to the 
hundred dollars which Hopkins gave subsequently to 1793^, the time of receiving the 
copyright of his System. If so, the gift had no connection, perhaps, with the African 
mission. One of Hopkins's early successors in the ministry at Newport, has informed 
the writer, that Hopkins gave one half of the copyright for his System to the African 

MEMOIR. 139 

" April 29, 1784. There has been a proposal on foot some time, that a 
number of blacks should return to Africa, and settle there ; that a number, who 
have been under the most serious impressions of religion, should lead the way, 
and when they are fixed there, should improve all opportunities to teach the Afri- 
cans the doctrines and duties of Christianity, both by precept and example. In 
order to this, a number who shall be tliought best qualified for this business, must 
first be sent to Africa, to treat with some of the nations there, and request of 
them lands, proper and sufficient for them and as many as shall go with them to 
settle upon. It is presumed land would be freely given. And it is thought, that 
such a settlement would not only bo for the benefit of those who shall return to 
their native country, but it would be the most likely and powerful means of 
putting a stop to the slave trade, as well as of increasing Christian knowl- 
edge among those heathens. In order to this, there must be some expense. 
A vessel must be obtained, and a cargo procured of such things as will sell 
there, (all spirits excepted.*) A captain must be found, who can be relied 
upon, and paid. This supposes a sufficient number of blacks may be found 
for sailors, who are used to the sea, and that the advantage of the trade M'ill 
repay most of the expense. I communicate these hints of a plan to you, 
that I may know how far you approve of it, and whether you think it practi- 
cable. And if you do, whether you, in conjunction with some of your able 
friends, would advance any thing considerable to promote such a design. It 
has been said by some, and doubtless by many, ' There are a number of men 
wlio liave large estates, much of which they have gotten by the slave trade, 
M'jio now profess to be convinced they have done wrong in having any hand 
in that trade, and manifest great zeal against it, and are great enemies of 
slavery. Let them show their repentance by their icorks ; by giving up a 
considerable part of their estates to liberate the Africans and promote their 
good. Let them do this, and we will believe them sincere and honest men, 
but not before, &c.' " f 

Tlie following important letter to Mr. Brown was written just one 
month and one day before the first colony of blacks set sail from 
England for Sierra Leone : 

" March 7, 1787. Dear Sir : This will be handed to you by Dr. Thornton, 
a gentleman from the West Indies, who has been in this city | some weeks. 
He brings no recommendation, but appears to me to be an honest man, though 
too fliglity and unsteady, perhaps, to be at the head of an affair in which he 
is very zealous : a settlement of the Jlmencan hlncks in soine part of Jlfrica. 
Should lie have opportunity to converse with you, which I wish, and [which] 
will be agreeable to him, he will communicate to you his plan, &c. § I have, 
as you know, sir, been for years desirous of an attempt to make such a settle- 
ment, and am glad to hear that Friends in Britain, and other dissenters, have 
joined to carry this into execution, I suppose upon the late Dr. Fothergil's 
plan. I wish some gentlemen, who are able, would send a vessel to Africa, 

* As far as \vc can judge from the journal and letters of Hopkins, he was disposed 
to insert a temperance clause in all his important negotiations which would admit it. 

t This closing appeal is another illustration of the unbending faithfulness which char- 
acterized its author. He knew that the charge of inconsistency had been brought 
against the estimable man whom he was addressing, (see p. 123, above,) and he meant 
to use this fact as a motive for a more generous contribution to the new enterprise. 

X In 1784, Newport was incorporated a cit}', but returned to its old town government 
in 1737, a fev.- days after the date of this letter. 

§ It is important here to notice that Mr. Hopkins does not allude to Dr. Thornton's 
plan, as in any degree novel. His fears relate merely to the prudence of Dr. Thornton 
in executing it. Dr. Alexander says that Dr. Thornton " is still remembered as a man 
of many eccentricities, arising from a vivid genius, and a real philanthropist." See His- 
tory of African Colonization, p. 61. 

140 MEMOIR. 

perhaps to the Ivory Coast, with a pcoper cargo to trade there for ivory, &c. ; 
and that some proper persons might go and treat with the princes or nations 
there for land, on wliich those who are disposed to return might settle. I 
think there would be a prospect of their gaining, rather than their losing 
money by such an undertaking, beside their promoting such a good design. 
I thank you for your letter of January, 178G, and the pamphlets enclosed with 
it. I have dispersed most of them, where I thought they might be of the most 
service. I have seen the piece, upon the slave trade, which obtained the highest 
prize in the University of Cambridge, in the year 1785, which you mentioned, 
and hope it will do much good. I conclude you have seen it. I have not 
been able to effect the design toward which you generously offered to give 
twenty dollars,* as I have been much confined at home the year past. You 
have doubtless been informed that a gold medal was offered by the Society ii> 
New York for Liberating the Africans, for the best piece against tlie slave 
trade, to be produced at the last commencement in the college there. I have 
not heard any thing further of it. — Any further intelligence from Britain, or 
any other quarter, which you shall be able to communicate, respecting the 
slave trade, and the resettlement of blacks in Africa, will be thankfully re- 
ceived by your respectful friend, S. Hopkins." 

Nearly two years after the preceding epistle, we find its resolute 
author addressing Granville Sharp, the eminent colonizationist of 
Great Britain. The letter is inserted, with some abridgment, in 
Prince Hoare's Memoir of Mr. Sharp, pp. 340—342 ; but the whole 
of it is now published for the first time. 

"Newport, January 15, 1789. Sir: As I am an utter stranger to you, I 
presume to introduce myself by the following narrative : I am the pastor of 
the First Congregational Church in Newport, on Rhode Island. I spent the 
former part of my life a hundred and fifty miles from tliis place ; have lived 
here near twenty years. When I removed to tiiis town, my attention was 
soon turned to the slave trade, which had been long carried on here, and was 
still continued. It appeared to me wholly unjustifiable and exceeding inhu- 
mane and cruel ; and I thought I was obliged, in duty, to condemn it in pub- 
lic and preach against it. I had better success than I expected, and most of 
my hearers were convinced that it was a very wrong and wicked practice. 
But this procured to me many enemies in the town, which were increased and 
more irritated when I proceeded, as I soon did, to condemn the holding these 
Africans in perpetual slavery, who were brought here by the iniquitous slave 
trade. I was, so far as I then knew, almost alone in my opposition to the 
slave trade and the slavery of the Africans : but since, [I] have read, with 
great satisfaction, your writings on that subject, some of which, I believe, 
were published before the time above mentioned, and the writings of others. 
And I have had the pleasure of finding a conviction of the evil of this prac- 
tice to spread and prevail in America. And two respectable and numerous 
societies are formed, one in New York and the other in Philadelphia, with a 
view to promote the abolition of the slavery of the Africans, and protect and 
assist those who have obtained their freedom ; of which you have doubtless 
been fully informed ; of both which societies I have the honor to be a corre- 
sponding member. 

" In Slassachusetts, all the Africans are made free by their Constitution, 
and many have obtained their freedom in this State. But their circumstances 
are, in many respects, unhappy, while they live here among the whites ; the 
latter looking down upon them, and being disposed to treat them as under- 

* An allusion to the Prize Essay which was mentioned in the letter of Februar}' 10, 
1786, to Dr. Hart, and which was suggested to Mr. Brown by the Prize Essay of Clark- 
son, noticed by Hopkins a few lines above. 

MB MO I R. 141 

lings, and denying thorn the advaiitagea of education and employment, &c., 
which tends to depress their minds and prevent their obtaining a comfortable 
living, &ic. This and other considerations have led many of them to desire to 
return to Africa, and settle there auiong their brethren, and in a country and 
climate more natural to them than this. Particularly, there are a number of 
religious blacks, with whom I am acquainted, who wish to be formed into a 
distinct church or religious society, and to have a black appointed as their 
pastor, (and there is one, at least, who is thought qualified for that office,) and 
then to go, with all the blacks who shall be willing to move with them, to Af- 
rica, and settle on lands which they think may be obtained of some of the na- 
tions there, from whom some of them were taken, and whose language tliey 
retain; and there maintain the profession and practice of Christianity, and 
spread the knowledge of it among the Africans, as far as they shall have op- 
portunity ; at the same time cultivating their lands, and introducing into tliat 
iiitherto uncivilized country the arts of husbandry, building mills and houses, 
and other mechanic arts, and raising cotton, coffee, «Sic., for exportation, as 
well as for their own use. This plan I have had in view for some time, and 
hive wished and attempted to prouiote it. But no way has yet been opened 
in America to carry it into execution ; there being no means yet found to de- 
fray the charge of sending a vessel to Africa with a number of blacks, to find 
out and procure the most convenient place for such a settlement. 

" In the mean time, we have, to our great joy, been informed, that such a 
plan was projected and executed in England, in which the society of which 
you are a member, had a great, if not a chief hand. We were assured tliat 
several ships, with a considerable number of blacks, sailed from England for 
Africa, in February, 1787, with a design to make a settlement on the Wind- 
ward Coast. We have been earnestly waiting for an authentic information 
of the success of this expedition, and the place and circumstances of the pro- 
posed settlement, but have received none to this day. It is indeed mentioned 
by the Dean of Middleton, in his letter to the treasurer of our society, (p. 14, 
note.) that a settlement is already established at Sierra Leone ; and he inti- 
mates that there is room for more settlers. And it is reported from Africa, 
that those blacks have arrived there from England, and that a tract of land 
tv,-enty miles square had been procured for them, near the mouth of the river 
Sierra Leone, and that the settlement is going on. But we have contradictory 
reports of the success of it. 

" I have thought, as do the most intelligent whites and blacks with whom I 
am acquainted, that if such a tract of land is procured, there is much more of 
it than can be occupied by the blacks which went from England, and there- 
fore the design might be forwarded by giving a part of it to the blacks in 
America, who are disposed to go and settle there. We have a considerable 
number of freed blacks, in Nev>^ England, who have been educated and habit- 
uated to industry and labor, either on lands, or as mechanics, and are hereby 
prepared to bring forward such a settlement, better than any other blacks, I 
believe, that can be found. 

"All this, sir, is a lengthy introduction to the following request: that you 
would please to inform me, Avhether such a tract of land is procured, and on 
what conditions ; whether the blacks, who settle on it, have the fee of the 
land ; under what government they are ; Avhether British, or their own by a 
particular civil constitution, formed for them, to be executed by themselves, or 
some English gentlemen who are for that end to reside among them ; M'hether 
there is any provision made to maintain and propagate religious knowledge 
among them and others who may live in their neigliborhood ; whether tlie set- 
tlers have behaved well, and prospered, since they began, and wliat progress 
tlioy have made ; finally, whether the blacks in America, who are disposed to 
go, can have any part of these lands to settle themselves upon, and on what 
terms ; and what encouragement and assistance might they probably have. 

" If you are pleased to be at the trouble of writing me on this subject, a 
letter sent to any of the members of either of the societies above mentioned, 

142 MEMOIR. 

will come safe to me. I take leave .to enclose to you some of my anonymous 
writings on the slave trade and the slavery of the Africans ; and am, with 
great esteem and respect, your humble servant, Samuel Hopkins." 

Light will be reflected on the movements of Mr. Hopkins, by in- 
serting here the reply which he received from Mr. Sharp : 

" Leadenhall Street, July 25, 1789. Reverend Sir : Some little time after 
your letter came to my hands, I received an account respecting the new set- 
tlement at Sierra Leone, so very discouraging that I began to be doubtful 
whether I ought to communicate to you the same invitation for the blacks in 
America to go to Sierra Leone which I had sent some time before to Phila- 
delphia and New York. I received such alarming intelligence of a conspira- 
cy, stirred up by the slave traders to cut off the settlement, that I began to 
give it up for lost. It is but a few days ago, (the twenty-second instant,) that 
these fears have been removed, by the arrival of one of the settlers, with let- 
ters from the Governor and several other persons in the settlement. 

" The messenger was sent on purpose with these letters, and had no other 
means of coming hither than by going in a slave ship round by the West In- 
dies. By these letters I find tliat, contrary to my fears, their enemies have 
not dared to meddle with the settlers, and that they are very well united, and 
had punished two different captains of slave ships for ill behavior, by fine and 
imprisonment, which occasioned the late combination against them. But 
their numbers did not exceed one hundred and twenty people, men, women, 
and children, altogether. However, I am informed that since those letters 
were written, some more of the settlers, who had been dispersed in the neigh- 
borhood, were returned, and that they are in all about two hundred people. 

" All the white people whom I sent out last year, to assist in supporting the 
settlement, have been wicked enough to go into the service of the slave trade 
at the neighboring factories, having, been enticed away, I suppose, by high 
wages ; but tlie people who remained in the settlement have carefully ad- 
hered to their promise, not to permit the iniquity of slave dealing in the Prov- 
ince of Freedom ; so that, though they have not kept up strictly to otiier Regula- 
tions which I proposed for them, yet, in this most essential point, they deserve 
commendation. I shall send you, by the first ship, copies of the Regulations 
which I wished to establish there. 

" As the settlement has been lately repurchased of King Naimbanna, the 
settlers, I think, must now submit to receive and accommodate all new comers 
with equal lots of land, gratis, until they amount at least to six hundred house- 
holders, notwithstanding the limitation of time in the Regulations ; so that I 
hope I may venture to assert, that whatever people from America will en- 
gage to submit to the terms of the Regulations and the English government, 
(which must be perfectly free, whilst frank-pledge and a universal militia are 
maintained,) will be admitted to free lots, even if they amount to more than 
double that number, provided that tliey go all at one time, and show this letter, 
or a copy of it, to the Governor and Assembly of Settlers in the Province of 

" In addition to the accounts which I had before received, the settlers, who 
brought me the last letters, inform me that the land is very good, and the 
neighboring natives very civil ; and that King Naimbanna, a very reverend 
old man, whose town is just beyond the borders of the settlement, is particu- 
larly kind to them. These accounts are corroborated by three other settlers, 
who have been here some time, and are all very anxious to get back again as 
soon as they can. But I am sorry to inform you, that all my expense and 
endeavors to procure a live stock of cattle have been rendered abortive by the 
imprudence of the captain with whom I contracted to procure it ; for, instead 
of delivering the cattle at the settlement, as he ought to have done, he only 
gave goods to the value of a certain number of cattle, and obtained a certifi- 
cate from the settlers that they had received the value of so viuch cattle 

MEMOIR. 143 

though they have no means of transporting any to the settlement ; and, there- 
fore, if any people are sent from America, it will be right to make some little 
reserve of goods, or dollars, to purchase a few lean, breeding cattle on the 
African coast, for their live stock, as they will very soon increase, because 
there is plenty of grass, and cattle thrive exceedingly well in most parts of 
the African coast, where any attention is paid to them. I am, with sincere 
esteem and respect, reverend sir," &c., &c. 

How many other letters our Newport divine wrote, on this 
theme, to persons of wealth and influence, it is impossible to deter- 
mine. Tvv^o houses, in which were probably many communications 
from his pen, were consumed by fire, with all their contents, several 
years after his death. It is certain, however, that he had a length- 
ened correspondence on the subject with Dr. John Erskine, of Edin- 
burgh, the friend of President Edwards. One letter from Hopkins 
to Erskine is here pubhshed for the first time. 

" January 14, 1789. Dear Sir : I feel myself delinquent, when I find I 
have not written you since January 1, 1788. This has been owing chiefly to 
my not having any thing of importance to communicate or transmit to you. 
I have, since that, receiv'ed two letters with packets from you. The first was 
dated October 29, 1787, which did not come till May 11, 1788. The hst, 
April 3, 1788, which came to hand the eleventh of August last, for which I am 
much indebted to you. There have been no publications here of late, which 
have come within my reach, which are worthy of your particular notice. 
There has not been any revival of religion that I have heard of in the year 
past, except what has taken place at Dartmouth College, and in some towns 
west of that in Vermont, which, I liave been informed, has been considerable, 
but do not know particulars. Infidelity, Universalism, irreligion, and worldli- 
ness generally prevail. Dr. Bellamy yet lives in much the same state of 
body and mind in which he has been above two years ; utterly helpless, and 
in a considerable degree insane, especially at times. Last September, Dr. 
Stiles transmitted to me a letter which he had received from you, respecting the 
blacks, by whom it has been proposed to propagate Christian knowledge in 
Africa ; in which you propose, if we think proper, that Drs. Stiles, Wales, 
Edwards and I should jointly address the Society in Scotland for Propagating 
Christian Knowledge, on that head, representing the state and circumstances 
of that affiiir, and the prospects there were of answering some important good 
end by encouraging and prosecuting it; and that it was likely, that society 
would advance something considerable in order to promote such a design. 
The matter has been considered, and it does not appear best to apply to the 
society at present. There is a number of Christian blacks who stand ready 
to unite in a church state, and have a pastor set over them, (and there is one 
at least who is thought fit for that office,) and go to Africa and settle there 
among their brethren, and maintain the profession and practice of Christianity, 
and propagate Christian knowledge in that heathen land, as they shall have 
opportunity. But no way has yet opened to send some persons to Africa to 
find out and procure the most convenient place for such a settlement. If this 
were done, the way would be open to prosecute the design, and it would, 
doubtless, meet with encouragement in America, and the assistance of your 
society would answer important ends. 

" A settlement of blacks has, within these two years, been made from Eng- 
land, at Sierra Leone, in Africa, and it is said that a purchase of land twenty 
miles square has been made for them. We hope to know soon on what con- 
ditions this land may be settled, and whether the blacks which would go from 
America may have any of this tract to settle upon. If it should be found that 
they may, die way would be opened to prosecute our plan, and then we 

144 MEMOIR. 

, should, doubtless, apply to your society for assistance, not doubting of their 
readiness to grant it. I am your obliged, affectionate friend, 

Samuel Hopkins." 

The ensuing letter to Dr. Hart unfolds the union, which existed in 
the mind of Hopkins, between the manumission of our bondmen and 
the Christian colonization of Africa. At the time of writing this 
letter, the Connecticut Society for emancipating the slave was about 
to revise and enlarge its constitution, and Dr. Hart was deeply 
engaged in the project : 

" August 30, 1791. I approve of your proposal of writing to the society in 
Scotland. But one difficulty attends it. They will probably expect that I 
should nominate some gentlemen for commissioners. But I know not who 
would best answer the end, or where a sufficient number can be found of 
such, who live in a vicinity, so as to be able to meet together as often as 
would be necessary to answer tlie end of their appointment. I should mention 
you for one ; but where could others be found ? I believe I shall defer writ- 
ing till I hear from you again, and know what your society will do at their 
next meeting, and who you think of as commissioners, &c. 

" I wish, if you apply for a charter, the affair of making a settlement of 
blacks in Africa, to civilize the nations there, anS propagate Christianity 
among them, and the proposal to fit persons for missionaries, schoolmasters, 
husbandry, mechanic trades, &c., might be mentioned and included, if the 
members would agree in such a plan." 

A still more decisive exhibition of the mode in which Hopkins unit- 
ed his plan for terminating slavery with his plan for sending reputable 
colonies to Africa, is presented in the following extract from a sermon, 
which he delivered before the Providence Society for Abolishing the 
Slave Trade, etc.* That sermon gives proof of the energy which its 
author was able to summon at the age of seventy-two. He says : 

" We may hope, that all this dark and dreadful scene will not only have an 
end, but is designed by the Most High to be tlie mean of introducing the gos- 
pel among the nations in Africa ; that those who have embraced the gospel, 
while among us, with all who have been or may be, in some good measure, 
civilized and instructed, will, by our assistance, return to Africa, and spread 
the light of the gospel in that now dark part of the world, and propagate tJiose 
arts and that science whicli shall recover them from that ignorance and bar- 
barity which now prevail, to be a civilized. Christian, and happy people ; mak- 
ing as great improvement in all useful knowledge, and in the practice of 
righteousness, benevolence, and piety, as lias yet been done by any people on 
earth, and much greater. Thus all this past and present evil, which the Af- 
ricans have suffered by the slave trade and the slavery to which so many of 
them have been reduced, may be the occasion of an overbalancing good ; and 
it may hereafter appear, as it has in the case of Joseph being sold a slave into 
Egypt, and the oppression and slavery of the Israelites by the Egyptians, tliat 
though the slave traders have really meant and done that which is evil, yet 
God has designed it all for good, the good of which all this evil shall be the 

* The title of the sermon is as follows : " A Discourse upon the Slave Trade, and 
the Slavery of the Africans ; delivered in the Baptist 3Ieeting-hoiise at Providence, 
before the Providence Society for Abolishing' the Slave Trade, &c., at their Annual 
Meeting', on May 17, 1793. By Samuel Hopkins, D. D., Pastor of the First Congrega- 
tional Church in Newport, and Member of said Society. Printed at Providence, bj 
J. Carter, 1793." 

MEMOIR. 145 

occasion. — Ought not this prospect to animate us earnestly to pray for such 

a happy event, and to exert ourselves to the utmost to promote it. Can we 
be indifferent and negligent in this matter, without slighting and disobeying 
the command of Clirist, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every 
creature ? And will not such an attempt to send the gospel to Africa, being 
willing to spare no expense or labor thus to spread the knowledge of the Sa- 
viour among the nations there, be a proper expression of our love and regard 
to this benevolent, important injunction ?" 

Nor was the preacher satisfied with this appeal ; but he appended 
to his discourse the ensuing statement, which lie spread over the 
length and breadth of New England. 

" The proposal of assisting the blacks among us to go and make a settle- 
ment in Africa, which has been mentioned in the preceding discourse, I have 
thought to be of sucli importance, as to require a more particular explanation 
to be laid before the public, with the reasons for it, for their consideration ; 
hoping that, if it be generally approved, it will excite those united, generous 
exertions which are necessary, in order to effect it. 

" There are a considerable number of free blacks in New England, and in 
other parts of the United States, some of whom are industrious, and of a good 
moral character ; and some of them appear to be truly pious, Avho are desirous 
to remove to Africa, and settle there. They who are religious would be 
glad to unite as Christian brethren, and move to Africa, having one instructor, 
or more, and cultivate the land which they may obtain there, and maintain 
the practice of Christianity in the sight of their now heathen brethren ; and 
endeavor to instruct and civilize them, and spread the knowledge of the gospel 
among them. 

" In order to effect this in the best manner, a vessel must be procured, and 
proper sailors provided, to go to Africa, with a number of persons, both white 
and black, perhaps, who shall be thought equal to the business, to search that 
country, and find a place where a settlement may be made with the consent 
of the inhabitants there ; the land being given by them, or purchased of them, 
and so as best to answer the ends proposed. If such a place can be found, 
as no doubt it may, they must return, and the blacks must be collected who 
are willing to go and settle there, and form themselves into a civil society, 
by agreeing in a constitution and a code of laws, by which they Avill be 

" And they must be furnished with every thing necessary and proper to trans- 
port and settle them there, in a safe and comfortable manner ; with shipping and 
provisions, till they can procure them in Africa, by their own labor, and with 
instruments and utensils necessary to cultivate the land, build houses, «Sic. ; 
and have all the protection and assistance they will need, while settling, and 
when settled there. And, if necessary, a number of white people must go 
with them ; one or more, to superintend their affairs, and others to survey and 
lay out their lands, build mills nnd houses, &c. But these must not think of 
settling tiiere for life ; and the blacks are to be left to themselves, when the}'' 
shall be able to conduct their own affairs, and need no further assistance ; and 
be left a free, independent people. 

" This appears to be the best and only plan to put the blacks among us in 
the most agreeable situation for themselves, and to render them most useful 
to their brethren in Africa, by civilizing them, and teaching them how to 
cultivate their lands, and spreading the knowledge of tho Christian religion 
among them. Tlic wiiites are so liabituated, by education and custom, to 
look upon and treat the blacks as an inferior class of beings, and they are 
sunk so low by their situation, and the treatment they receive from us, that 
they never can be raised to an equality Avith the wliites, and enjoy all the 
liberty and rights to which they have a just claim ; or have all the encourage- 


146 MEMOIR. 

ments and motives to make improvements of every kind, which are desirable. 
But, if they were removed to Africa, this evil would cease, and they would 
enjoy all desirable equality and liberty, and live in a climate which is pecu- 
liarly suited to their constitution. And they would be under advantages to 
set an example of industry, and the best manner of cultivating the land, of 
civil life, of morality and religion, which would tend to gain the attention of 
the inhabitants of that country, and persuade them to receive instruction, and 
embrace the gospel. 

" These United States are able to be at the expense of prosecuting such a 
plan, of which these hints are some of the outlines. And is not this the best 
way that can be taken to compensate the blacks, both in America and Africa, 
for the injuries they have received by the slave trade and slavery, and that 
which righteousness and benevolence must dictate ? And even selfishness 
will be pleased with such a plan as this, and excite to exertions to carry it 
into effect, when the advantages of it to the public and to individuals are well 
considered and realized. This will gradually draw off all the blacks in New 
England, and even in the Middle and Southern States, as fast as they can be 
set free, by which this nation will be delivered from that which, in the view 
of every discerning man, is a great calamity, and inconsistent with the good 
of society ; and is now really a great injury to most of the white inhabitants, 
especially in the Southern States. 

" And by the increase and flourishing of such a plantation of free people in 
Africa, where all tlie tropical fruits and productions, and the articles which 
we fetch from the West Indies, may be raised in great abundance, by proper 
cultivation, and many other useful things procured, a commerce may take 
place, and be maintained, between those settlements and the United States 
of America, which will be of very great and increasing advantage to both. 

" And this will have the greatest tendency wholly to abolish the abominable 
trade in human flesh, and will certainly effect it, if all other attempts prove 

" That such a plan is practicable, is evident from the experiment which has 
lately been made in forming a settlement of blacks at Sierra Leone. Above 
a thousand blacks were transported from Nova Scotia to that place last year ; 
who, by the assistance of a small number of whites, and supplies from Eng- 
land, have formed a town and plantation, which, by the latest accounts, is now 
in a flourishing condition ; the inhabitants living in peace and amity with the 
neighboring nations, and with a promising prospect of being a great ad- 
vantage to them, by teaching them to cultivate their lands, and civilizing 
them, and showing them the advantages of peace and of industry, and trade 
in the productions of their country, and spreading the knowledge of Christian- 
ity among them. This will gradually put an end to the slave trade, and to 
slavery, in that part of the continent. And from this settlement, there is a 
rational prospect of a commerce, in the productions of that climate, with 
Britain, which will be so profitable as more than to compensate the latter for 
all the expense of forming and carrying it on, and will be greatly advantageous 
to both nations. 

" There is reason to believe that a settlement may be made by the blacks 
now in the United States, in some part of Africa, either on the river Sierra 
Leone or in some other place, which will be as advantageous to those who 
shall settle there, and to the adjacent nations, as this which has been men- 
tioned, and with much less expense ; and which will be a greater benefit to 
this nation, than that may be to Britain. 

" Are there not, then, motives sufficient to induce the Legislature of this 
nation to enter upon and prosecute this design ? to form a plan, and execute 
it, as wisdom shall direct ? And is there not reason to think that it would 
meet with general approbation ? But if this cannot be, may not this be effected 
by the societies in these States, who [which] are formed Avith a design to 
promote the best good of the Africans ? Would not this be answering tlie 

MEMOIR. 147 

end of their institution, in the best way that can be devised, and in imitation 
of that which has been formed in Great Britain for the same purpose ? 

" Is there not reason to believe, that, if such a plan Avas well digested, and 
properly laid before the public, and urged, Avith the reasons which offer, and 
a company or committee formed to conduct tlie affair, there might be a sum 
collected sufficient to carry it into effect ? 

" The General Court in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts did, some 
time ago, make a resolve to the following purpose : That Avhen a place can 
be found in Africa, where the blacks in that State may settlfe to their ad- 
vantage, they would furnish them with shipping and provisions sufficient to 
transport them tlicre, and with arms sufficient to defend them, and farming 
utensils sufficient to cultivate their lands. If all the States in the Union, or 
most of them, would take the same measure, such a design might be soon 
and easily carried into execution. Nothing appears to be wanting but a 
proper, most reasonable zeal, in so good a cause." 

The preceding document suggests the following, among other 
comments : 

First. It is obvious that the colony which Hopkins proposed, was 
not to have an exclusively missionary character. It was to be a free 
and independent nation, cultivating the arts of life, and conducting a 
foreign commerce. 

Secondly. It is equally evident, that our reformer did not intend 
to make the piety of the Africans an indispensable qualification for 
their joining his colony, at its commencement even. He would even 
then admit all who were " industrious and of a good moral char- 

Thirdly. His scheme was self-consistent and comprehensive. To 
some it may appear, that his plan of sending to Africa such blacks 
only as would exert there a good moral influence, cannot be recon- 
ciled with his scheme of sending " all the blacks " in the United 
States to their father-land. There is, however, an entire congruity 
between the two proposals. He intended to transport, first, such 
colonists only as bore a good character, and such as would lay the 
foundations of a Christian government. Wlien a colony had been 
firmly established, on religious principles, it would, in his view, exert 
a salutary moral influence upon our whole colored population, if 
they should " gradually " emigrate to it. Then, their emigration 
would be desirable, as it would be an emigration for Christian pur- 
poses, and with a prospect of maintaining Christian institutions. 

Fourthly. Our philanthropist cannot be accused of any want of 
sympathy with his colored brethren, in his proposing their removal 
to their father-land. He had no desire io force them from our shores, 
for our own comfort or convenience. He did not favor their re- 
moval against their will. It was their good which prompted his 
efforts. He had a profound conviction, that they never would be so 
happy among us, as they could be in an independent nation by them- 
selves; that their physical condition would be improved by returning 
to the climate of their ancestors ; that their mental, and, above all, 

148 MEMOIR. 

their spiritual welfare required a government especially adapted to 
them. For a quarter of a century, he had lived in the neighborhood 
of the Stockbridge Indians, and had seen the difficnlty of persuading 
the superior race to treat the inferior with a becoming friendliness. 
Of course he blamed the prevalent disjiosition to injure the weaker 
classes. But he looked npon the disposition as an existing fact, 
and he therefore devised means for avoiding its influence. 

Fifthly. Whether Hopkins were right or wrong in his coloniza- 
tion scheme, (and this is no place for expressing an opinion on the 
subject,) he was in advance of his age. In the year 1850-1, many 
of the most eminent citizens of Rhode Island presented a petition to 
Congress, in favor of transporting to Africa, at the national ex- 
pense, such negroes as may desire to emigrate thither. Perliaps not 
one of these petitioners was aware that, fifty-eight years before they 
made their proposal, substantially the same plan had been published 
to the world by a Newport pastor. These petitioners requested that, 
as the Colonization Society could not remove all the blacks wlio 
might wish to change their residence, the national go\ ernment would 
lend its aid. Hopkins had proposed, more than a half century be- 
fore, that the national government should be at the expense of the 
transportation ; or, if this aid could not be procured, that a company 
should be formed to superintend the removal. This " company " 
would be, in lact, a colonization society, conducted on such prin- 
ciples as Granville Sharp and Wilberforce would approve ; on such 
principles as would secure a preponderating rehgious influence. 

Twenty years after his first public movement in favor of the 
Africans, Hopkins addressed the following letter to Dr. Hart: 

"July 29, 1793. Bristol Yamma is out of health, and can do little or no 
business. Ho has been advised to go into a warmer climate, supposing it 
would conduce to his health. There is a prospect of an opportunity for liim 
to go to Sierra Leone next fall, and spend the winter there. There is a gen- 
tleman in this town who has lately come from that place, and informs me that 
the settlement of blacks on that river, about eight miles above the month of 
the river, called Freetown, goes on with success and agreeable prospects ; 
tliat eleven hundred blacks or more are settled there, and witliin a year have 
cleared a large quantity of land, and done a surprising deal of work ; that they 
are all contented and pleased and healthy, — appear sober and pious, meet- 
ing morning and evening for prayers, &c. They have a Governor from Eng- 
land, and several other gentlemen to take care of the affairs of the settlement, 
who are upright, benevolent men, and very friendly to the blacks, treating 
them upon an equality with themselves. They are preparing to raise sugar- 
cane, coffee, &c. lie says he is acquainted witli that river and the adjacent 
country, having lived there many years : that he doubts not land may be had 
in those parts for any number to settle upon, who should be inclined to go 
from America. If Bristol could go, (and it would be desirable that one more, 
at least, should go with him.) he might promote the dpsign of a proposed set- 
tlement, by getting acquainted with the country and inhabitants, and perhaps 
finding a place wliere a settlement may be made, and on what terms land may 
1)0 had. This cannot be done witliout some money. I will give fifty dollars 
toward it, if it can be carried into effect. Perhaps, if tlie plan and proposal 

MEMOIR. 149 

should be laid before the Connecticut Abolition Society, at their next meeting 
at New Haven, or communicated to individuals who are most likely to forward 
the matter, money might be obtained for that end. — Such a settlement, pro- 
moted by the Americans, would not only tend to the good of the Africans, but 
would, in time, be a source of a profitable trade to America, instead of the 
West India trade, which will probably fail more and more, as the curse of 
Heaven seems to be coming on those islands, where the slavery of the Afri- 
cans, in all the horrors of it, has been practised so long." 

Now, in his seventy-third year, our reformer is as eager as he had 
been to communicate, as well as to receive, information in reference 
to his favorite scheme. He writes to Dr. Hart : 

" October 31, at night, 1793. Reverend and Dear Sir : All the information 
I can give respecting the men of [whom] Bristol spoke to you, is the follow- 
ing: A white man, about sixty years old, and a black, called upon me, and 
said they came from Saint Croix, a Danish island. The black was a native 
of that island, a free man, and a Moravian. He spoke good English, and is a 
man of property. He says there are five thousand free blacks in that island. 
The white comes from Denmark. He speaks English badly, and talks so fast 
that I could not understand a great part of what he said. But I collected the 
following from him : 

" The king of the Danes has lately made a [purchase] of land in Guinea, 
lying in the fifth degree of north latitude, of eighty miles square, on which he 
proposes to make a settlement of blacks only. The whites, who accompany 
them, to protect and assist them in forming a settlement, a civil government, 
&c., are to have no land, but leave the country to the blacks as soon as they 
have answered the end for which they are to be sent. They are to raise the 
productions of that climate, and Denmark is to have the monopoly of their 
trade, as the only compensation. — This gentleman represents himself as sent 
by the king of Denmark to go and view said tract of land, and see whether a 
settlement can be made upon it, and where, or in what part of it, &c. The 
black is going with him. They have hired a vessel, at Providence, to carry 
them to Guinea, for which ho gives five hundred dollars. They have both 
engaged to send me information of their success. The white man appears 
to be a Lutheran ; but says Christians of all denominations will be allowed to 
settle there ; — that there are seven whites and blacks already gone there, 
whom they expect to find on the spot. On the whole, the aflfair has a roman- 
tic appearance, and I suspect will come to nothing. The appearance of the 
white man is not promising; and it is rather improbable that such a man 
should be sent by his Danish majesty on such busmess ; but time will bring 

At length, June 9, 1794, this tenacious man communicates a dis- 
couraging fact to Dr. Hart : 

" I have got no farther information respecting the settlement of the blacks 
at Sierra Leone. When at Providence, I inquired after the black, who, I 
heard, came from that place, but could get no information. I believe the story 
was magnified. The Abolition Society were to take the matter into consid- 
eration, at their meeting in May. But [I] have not heard what they did ; — 
believe they did nothing. The Friends are always backward in promoting 
such settlement, and are the most active members, and nothing can be done 
without them. Bristol Yamma is dead I He died last January, in North Car- 

But although the prospects of our philanthropist were dark in his 
own country, he continued to enjoy the sympathies of his fellow- 

150 MEMOIR. 

laborers in England. We find that at this period he was engaged in 
a correspondence with Zachary Macaulaj, so highly celebrated as 
editor of the Christian Observer, as the companion of Scott, Newton, 
and Wilberforce, and more recently as the father of the historian, 
Thomas Babington Macaulay. The correspondence is valuable, as 
it shows the care which both Macaulay and Hopkins took, in select- 
ing worthy emigrants for the new settlement on the African coast. 
It co]"roborates the preceding assertion, that the colonization which 
Hopkins favored was not, in its early stages, to be promiscuous, but 
select ; not limited, however, to the strictly pious Africans, but in- 
cluding also those who were apparently favorable to religion. Two of 
Mr. Macaulay's letters are here inserted, for the sake of illustrating 
the kind of missionary colonization in which Hopkins was engaged. 

" Freetown, Sierra Leone, 19 March, 1795. Reverend Sir : We refer 
you to tlie enclosed paper, marked No. 1, for an explanation of the reasons 
which have induced us at this time to trouble you. We have considered 
it as a sufficient ground on which to solicit your good offices, that you are 
interested in the cause of humanity, and that you are zealous in the service 
of Christ. Believing, therefore, that you will regard no task as a burden 
which gives you an opportunity of manifesting these dispositions, we ad- 
dress you on the present occasion, with the full assurance that you •will 
be favorable to our vie\vs, and tliat you will spare no pains in fulfilling 

" You already know, that several families of people of color, belonging to 
Providence, have joined in making an application to us for a settlement at 
Sierra Leone ; and though we be by no means desirous of an accession of 
colonists, yet their application has been so urgent, that we have been induced 
to comply with it. The number to be received is, however, limited to twelve 
families ; and on perusing the conditions, you will see that even these are not 
to be received, unless they present satisfactory testimonials of their moral 
character, signed by you and another clergyman, and by the President of the 
Abolition Society. 

"The difficulties which have already arisen, in forming this settlement, 
from the injudicious admission of persons of doubtful character, have led us 
to guard more carefully against a similar evil in the present instance. These 
difficulties have arisen, either from fallacious notions of civil rights, (a thing 
not to be wondered at in emancipated slaves,) from extreme vehemence of 
temper, or from low, confused and imperfect ideas of moral rectitude. The 
first of these may, no doubt, be corrected by enlightening their minds ; the 
second may be curbed by wholesome laws ; and the last may be amended and 
improved by the preaching of the gospel : but we should be much better 
pleased to have an accession of colonists who would strengthen our hands in 
accompHshing these purposes, than of men who would furnish us with addi- 
tional em])loyment in that way. 

" There is another evil, however, A\'hich we fear may prevail among those 
with whom the present application lias originated, and which we wish to guard 
against with more care than even against these. We mean the evil of specu- 
lative infidelity. From general circumstances which have passed under our 
observation, we are led to judge, that the poison of the ' Age of Reason ' * 
may have pervaded even this class of men. Now, we trust you will agree 
with us, in thinking that the introduction of one such unbeliever into a 

*- It may here be mentioned, that the author of the " Age of Reason " had been ac- 
tively engaged in behalf of the Pennsylvania Abolition Society. 

MEMOIR. 151 

colony founded for the express purpose of spreading among the heathen the 
knowledge of a Saviour, might prove an evil beyond all calculation. We arc 
not such bigots as to require subscription to creeds and articles ; nor are we 
such latitudinarians, as to be willingly accessory to admitting into the colony 
one person who has learned to treat religion with contempt. However great 
the usefulness of such people might bo in otlier respects, we should conceive 
ourselves to be more essentially serving the cause of God, by forming a 
colony of the blindest of tiiose blind people who now inhabit this land. We 
do not look for characters of eminent piety, but we would expect a sober 
demeanor, good intentions, and a disposition favorable to religion. Without 
these, no man can make a good member of any community ; much less of 
one established expressly for the purpose of preaching to Africa the acceptable 
year of the Lord. What we have, then, particularly to request of yon, sir, is, 
that you would refuse your signature to any person's certificate witli whom 
you h:ive not reason to be satisfied in this respect, as well as iu every other. 
Religion is not, indeed, expressly mentioned in the conditions, as necessary 
to form a part of their character who migrate hither ; but as we think you will 
agree with us in opinion, that none can with propriety be entitled to the 
denomination of moral, of whose characters religion does not form the basis, 
the omission is of no moment. 

" We have written on tliis subject to you alone ; but wo beg of you to 
communicate our sentiments to the Chairman of the Abolition Society, and to 
any other clergyman you may think proper to associate Avith you. 

" We enclose a paper, No. 2, which will give you some notion of the extent 
to which the slave trade is carried on in our neighborhood by Americans. 
We hoped that tlie act of your Congress would have effectually abolished it ; 
but we find, on the contrary, that it has considerably increased since the time 
of the passing of tliat act. Had we had tiipe, we should have sent you, by 
this opportunity, a sketch of the history and nature of this settlement, but we 
sjiall embrace an early opportunity of doing it. We think it right to say, that 
the behavior of Mr. James MacKenzie, as far as we have had tlie means of 
observing it, has been proper and becoming. 

" Requesting your pardon for the liberty we have now presumed to take, 
and wishing you continued and increasing health and happiness, 

" We remain, reverend sir, your very faithful and obedient servants, 

Z ACHARY Macaulay, Actiug Govcmor. 
James W\att, Councillor P. S. 

" Rev. ilr. Hopkins, Providence, Rhode Island." 

"Freetown, October 20, 179(3. Dear Sir: On my return from England 
iu March last, I was favored with your much esteemed letter of the ninth [of] 
September, 1795, and had also an opportunity of seeing your obliging com- 
munications to the Governor and Council. In their name, I beg to make the 
heartiest acluiowledgments for the attention you was pleased to pay to their 
requests. They feel themselves particularly indebted to you, for the con- 
sideratencss with which you withheld your recommendation from persons w])o 
might otherwise have caused tliem much trouble ; a circumstance, which will 
Ic.ul them to receive with much regard any recommendation which, at any 
future period, you may be induced to make tliem. 

" I beg now to return you my best thanks for the pleasure afforded me by 
your letter, as well as by the tracts accompanying it. I have perused them 
with profit, and have only to regret, that an oversight of Captain Benson's, 
shoidd have deprived me of the satisfaction of perusing some more bulky pro- 
ductions of the same pen. During my late visit to Europe, I had an oppor- 
tunity of passing some time at Edinburgh. My very excellent and venerable 
friend. Dr. Erskine, communicated to me the substance of the interesting 
account you give of your labors in behalf of this benighted land. It is to be 
regretted, that they should have hitherto proved so fruitless. We may. how- 
ever, regard tliat and every similar effort that has been made, however Co our 

152 MEMOIR. 

view they may have appeared vain, as silently operating' in producing that 
striking and unexampled eagerness, with which the Christian world in Europe 
is now pursuing the benevolent object of evangelizing the heathen. During 
my short stay at home, I had the satisfaction of seeing a mission undertaken 
by the Baptists to India, and another to Africa, one undertaken by the 
Wesleyan Methodists to the interior of the same country, and one put in a fair 
Avay of being undertaken by the Moravians. A society for missions had also 
been formed, which embraced all sects of Evangelical Pedo-Baptists, to the 
funds of which £10,000 sterling had been subscribed, whose object, in the first 
instance, is the Soutli Sea Islands. It is witli some concern I add, that the 
Methodist mission to this country has entirely failed, through the unfitness of 
the instruments, and that the Baptist mission near us languishes from the 
same cause. 

" One of my objects in visiting Edinburgh was, to procure some pious men 
to accompany me on my return, as servants of the Company ; and in this I 
succeeded to my wish. I was so fortunate as to meet with a young man of 
the name of Clarke, who, possessed of great gifts, was also possessed of un- 
common piety, and embraced with gladness an offer of the chaplaincy here, in 
the hope of an opportunity of doing good. He has, since his arrival, formed 
a church, as far as circumstances admit, on the Presbyterian plan, (though we 
banish names : — here we are not Presbyterians, but Christians,) and there is 
a prospect of his doing much good. His usefulness has indeed been much 
marred, by a number of would-be preachers, who started up among the people, 
while they were Avithout any regular instructor, and who find the continuance 
of their influence so much involved in Mr. Clarke's success, that they use 
every effort to cause dissensions and maintain a party spirit. We may regard 
even that unpleasant circumstance as, in some measure, a token for good. If 
Satan be busy, we may judge he trembles for his kingdom. 

" You have a copy, if I am not mistaken, of the conditions on which I 
agreed with MacKenzie to receive free blacks. Should the people around 
you be disposed to give the requisite assistance to a few families who might 
wish to migrate, and whom you could safely recommend, they would be 
received on the same terms. 

" I have the pleasure of enclosing a printed report of the progress of our 
colony, till the time of its devastation by the French. Almost all the facts are 
detailed from my own actual observation. I understand from Captain Benson, 
that a very unfavorable report respecting my conduct at that time has reached 
America. Misrepresentation is a part of that cross which, so very peculiarly 
situated as I am, I must be content to bear. The report to which I allude, 
took its rise from the ill will of a shipmaster bound hence to Jamaica, whom 
I had forced to perform an act of common humanity to some seamen in dis- 
tress, and was eagerly retailed by the people of Jamaica, to whom, from a 
residence of six years m that island, I am well known, and who, regarding 
me, with some justice, as an apostate from tlieir party, gladly seize every 
opportunity of marking their dislike. 

" I shall not fail to send you the continuation of the printed reports, as 
they make their appearance. In the mean time, you will like to hear that our 
schools thrive, under the superintendence of Mr. Clarke, to a degree I could 
hardly have expected. For particulars respecting them and many other 
points, I must refer you to Captain Benson, whose representations I should 
expect (if not from partiality a little too highly colored) would be very fair. 

"You will be sorry to learn that, during the last year, the number of 
American slave traders on the coast has increased to an unprecedented de- 
gree. Were it not for their pertinacious adherence to that abominable traffic, 
it would, in consequence of the war, have been almost wholly abolished in 
our neighborhood. By letters from my excellent friends, Messrs. Wilberforce 
and Thornton, whose names I dare say arc not unknown on your side of the 
water, I find that, nothing daunted by their frequent defeats, they mean to 
pursue without any relaxation their measures for a total abolition. The 

MEMOIR. 153 

question was lost, in March last, only by a majority of four, and that not till 
the last reading'. 

" The continuation of your correspondence will be highly gratifying to me, 
and I sliall have pleasure in writing to you, from time to time, on such topics 
as from this far country will be likely to interest you. 

" Dr. Hopkins," Dr. Erskine, and the Rev. John Newton, have severally 
told nie that, were they young, they should strongly desire to migrate to 
Sierra Leone. Their actual presence is a happiness which we dare not ex- 
pect; but we feel ground for indulging a hope that their hearts are with us, 
and that they sometimes breatlie out a prayer in our behalf to Him whose 
blessing can alone make our work prosper. That he may bestow on you, sir, 
tlie best of blessings, is the warmest prayer of your faithful friend and obliged 
and humble servant, Zachary Macaulat. 

"P. S. I send, herewith, a number of little tracts, which are published 
monthly in England, chiefly by my valuable friend Mrs. Hannah More. 
Their object is, to supplant licentious and seditious ballads and pamphlets, by 
affording amusement to the common people, at an equally cheap rate, or at a 
cheaper rate than those pernicious writings are sold at ; whereby people may 
bo surprised, as it were, into some profitable reading. The success of the 
tracts has been truly astonishing. The plan began only in March, 1795, and 
before last March, two mOlions of tracts had been sold." 

We have already seen that two, of the first three candidates for 
tlie African mission, died before their education was completed.t 
Still, the projector of that mission clung to it ; and as late as 
1T99, when he was about eighty years of age, and had been laboring 
twenty-six years in its behalf, he writes in the last book which he 
ever published : | 

'■It may here be added, that the way to this proposed mission yet lies open ; 
and the importance of it and the encouragement to it are as great as ever. All 
that is wanted is money, exertion, and missionaries to undertake it. There 
are religious blacks to be found, who understand the language of the nations in 
those parts, who might be improved, if properly encouraged. And if tliey 
were brought to embrace Christianity, and to be civilized, it would put a stop 
to tiie slave trade, and render them happy. And it would open a door for a 
trade which would be for the temporal interest of both Americans and Afri- 
cans. As attention to sending the gospel to the heathen appears to be now 
spreading and increasing in America, it is hoped that the eyes of many will 
bo opened to see the peculiar obligations they are under to attempt to send 
the gospel to the Africans, whom we have injm-ed and abused so greatly, even 
more than any other people under lieaven ; it being the best and the only 
compensation we can make." 

Ill none of his letters, even to his most confidential friends, does 
Hopkins intimate, that his original views of an African settlement, or 

* Was there a Dr. Hopkins of Eiiglaiul, who had seen Mr. Macanlay, and '• told '' 
him what is hero asserted ? Or does 3Ir. 31acaulay speak of Dr. Hopkins of America, as 
having' written to him what is here stated ? It was common, especially in that day, to 
allude in the third person to the individual addressed ; but Mr. Macanlay, in the pre- 
ccfling letter, docs not address the Rhode Island pastor as Dr., but as ''Mr. Hopkins." 

t John Qiiamine had lost his life in the revolutionary war. Dr. Patten says, (Rcm- 
iiii.sceiiecs, pp. 86, 87,) that he " entered on board a privateer, with the desire not only 
to support in this way the cause of the army, but to obtain mone}' to purchase the free- 
dom of his wife ; but he was slain in the first battle." 

i Memoirs of Mrs. Osborn, pp. 78, 79. 

154 MEMOIR. 

even of an African mission, had been modified by any other coloni 
zation movement. He records no change of plan between the year 
1773 and the year 1799. That the lapse of time may have matured 
his scheme, we do not deny ; but we can find no evidence of his 
having essentially altered it. This is certainly remarkable, and is 
one among other proofs, that his sagacious mind foresaw, from the 
first, that John Quamine and Salmar Nubia were to be trained as 
pioneers, not for churches only, but for commercial cities and ex- 
tensive colonies also. He manifests no surprise at the schemes of 
Granville Sharp, but cordially unites in them, as long familiar to his 


Many results of our philanthropist's labors were intangible. Not 
all of them, however. Salmar Nubia and Nevrport Gardner were a 
connecting link between the missionary colonization scheme of Dr. 
Hopkins and the more indiscriminate colonization scheme of the 
present day. Both of these men were introduced to our notice by 
Mr. Hopkins, on p. 136, above. One of them, Newport, was a man 
of mark. "He was brought to this country as a slave, in 1760, 
when about fourteen years of age. He early discovered to his owner 
very superior powers of mind. He tmight himself to read, after re- 
ceiving a few lessons on the elements of written language. He 
taught himself to sing, after receiving a very trivial initiation into the 
rudiments of music. He became so well acquainted with the science 
and art of music, that he composed a large number of tunes, (some 
of which have been highly approved by musical amateurs,) and was 
for a long time the teacher of a very numerously attended singing 
school in Newport. He retained a knowledge of his mother tongue, 
so that he could speak it fluently in his eightieth year." * "A long 
time after he came to this country, he distinguished, among a cargo 
of slaves, two individuals, whom he instantly addressed in their own 
language, and reminded them of his having previously met them in 
their own land. In his person he was tall, straight, and well formed ; 
in his manners, he was dignified and unassuming." t Mr. Hopkins 

* Ferguson's Memoir of Hopkins, p. 90. Dr. Hitchcock writes : " Newport Gard- 
ner used to say to me, [between the }'ears 1815 and 1820,] that he was very careful to 
cultivate his recollection of his African tongue, so that in case Providence should open 
a way, he might return to Africa, and find a people with whom he might converse intel- 
ligibly, and to whom he might communicate the great trutlis of the gospel." — MS. 

t MS. Letter of Mr. Ferguson. Dr. Hitchcock writes : " Newport often repeated 
this maxim : ' If you wish to do good to our people, you must keep us in our place. 
You must not flatter us.' I have often heard him pray. He never failed to plead for 
Africa, confessing the justice of God in her miseries, owing to her sins, especially ' in 
worshipping trees, and streams, and fountains of water, and reptiles.' " — MS. Letter. 
Such humility in a slave who was honored so much as Newport, is a proof of his su- 
perior endowments. 

MEMOIR. 155 

originated and encouraged the design of Newport's obtaining his 
freedom, and returning a missionary to his own country. In a letter 
to Dr. Hart, apprising him of «' two remarkable events," Mr. Hop- 
kins says : " April 27, 1791. The other event is, ten blacks in 
this town joined to purchase a ticket in the semi-annual lottery in 
Boston, which has drawn a prize of two thousand dollars. One of 
them belongs to our church, and is of a good character, — the best 
that I know among the blacks, except Bristol Yamma. He is a 
slave. — It is hoped that by this event he will obtain his freedom." 
That slave was Newport, and he at once renewed his old applica- 
tion for the purchase of his liberty. But he had not money enough 
to buy his own freedom and also that of his* wife and children. He 
therefore " was allowed to labor for his own profit, during whatever 
time he might gain by extra diligence. The slave devoted all this 
gained time to procuring the means of liberating himself and family. 
He was finally advised, by a deacon of Mr. Hopkins's church, to 
spend this time in fasting and prayer for his liberation, and he was 
assured of more rapid success in this course than in that of manual 
labor. Accordingly, having gained a day, this pious negro, without 
communicating his plan to any but Mr. Hopkins, and two or three 
Christian friends, spent that day in secret fasting and prayer that he 
might obtain his freedom. His master, totally ignorant of his slave's 
occupation, sent for him about four o'clock in the afternoon ; but 
was told that ' Newport was engaged for himself, this being his 
gained day.' ' No matter — call him,' says Captain Gardner. After 
some hesitation, the slave was called, and the owner gave him a paper, 
on which was written, — ' I, Caleb Gardner, of Newport, Rhode 
Island, do this day manumit and release forever Newport Gardner, 
his wife, and children," &c., &lc. ; adding some conditions which 
could be easily complied with. The slave received his manumis- 
sion with gratitude to his owner, but with still deeper gratitude to 
his all-wise Disposer above, who had signally answered his request 
for freedom, even before he had finished his siipplication." * 

The desire which his pastor had enkindled in his bosom to re- 
visit his native land, for the sake of carrying thither the institutions 
of the gospel, never died away. Both he and Salmar Nubia t 
"continued, through life, with their faces turned toward their home, 

* Slightly altered from Ferguson's Memoir, pp. 181, 185. Dr. Alexander, describ- 
ing this mode of Newport's liberation, says ; " If it were not so well authenticated, we 
should hesitate to mention it ; as, to some of our readers, it may probably savor too 
much of enthusiasm. But in fact, it is nothing else than an evident, and somewhat ex- 
traordinary answer to prayer." History of African Colonization, p. 57. The account 
rests on the authority of Colonel Vinson, Dr. Tenney, Mr. Ferguson, and others. 

t This man, a member of Dr. Stiles's church in Newport, was a subscriber f9r the 
first edition of Hopkins's System of Divinity ; and his name is spelled Solmar Nubia 
in the published list of the original subscribers' names. It is spelled, in some of Hop- 
kins's letters, Solmar Numa ; and in the census of Liberia for 1843. it is spelled John 

156 MEMOIR. 

and when the favorable moment came, they joyfully embarked for 
Africa. On the evening of the twenty-eighth of December, 1825, they 
and sixteen others were constituted a church in the city of Boston. 
Drs. Jenks, S. E. Dwight, Wisner, Justin Edwards, and Rev. Samuel 
Green, conducted the exercises of the evening. The church made a 
unanimous choice of Newport Gardner and John Salmar Nubia for 
deacons ; " Rev. Samuel Green offered the consecrating prayer for 
the two newly-elected officers, and at the conclusion of the service 
an anthem was sung, which was " composed by Deacon Gardner, 
and by him set to the following words of his own selection and 
adaptation : " 

"The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: Write thou all 
the words which I have spoken unto thee in a book. For lo ! the days come, 
saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and 
Judah, saith the Lord ; and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave 
to their fathers, and they shall possess it. Therefore, fear thou not, O my 
servant Jacob, saith the Lord ; neither be dismayed, O Israel ; for lo! I will 
save thee from afar, and thy seed from their captivity, and Jacob sliall return 
and be in rest and quiet, and none shall make him afraid. Amen. Hear the 
words of the Lord, O ye African race, hear the words of promise. But it is 
not meet to take the children's bread and cast it to dogs. Truth, Lord, yet 
the dogs eat of the crumbs that fall from their master's table. O African, 
trust in the Lord. Amen. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Praise ye the 
Lord. Hallelujah. Amen." 

On the 4th of January, 1826, the cliurch sailed for Liberia, in the 
brig Vine, from Boston. There were thirty-two colored emigrants 
on board, all of them from Rhode Island. To the spectators of the 
embarkation it appeared singular, that two men so old as these two 
deacons, should venture to become pioneers of an infant colony, on 
a sickly coast. But this had been their ruling passion. There had 
been an influence uj)on them which the world knew not. They had 
sat by the fireside of Hopkins's narrow study, and had there nour- 
ished their missionary spirit, a half century before it was developed 
in their missionary life.* So permanent is human influence. The 
two deacons arrived at Monrovia, February 6, 1826, and after a 
rapid decline, died, about six months after their arrival. Newport 
Gardner was about eighty, and Salmar Nubia about seventy years 
of age, at the time of their decease. 

* Somewhat altered from Ferg-uson's Memoir, pp. 90, 91, 185, 186. The author of 
the " New Republic," speaking of the emigrants in the Vine, saj-s, p. 101 : " One aged 
black was among the number, who seemed to be filled with almost youthful enthusiasm 
for the cause. 'I go,' he exclaimed, 'to set an e.xample to the youth of my race. 1 
go to encourage the young. They can never be elevated here. I have tried it sixty 
years — it is in vain. Could I by my example lead them to set sail, and I die the next 
day, I should be satisfied.' " 

MEMOIR. 157 


It has been said that the church of Mr. Hopkins, at Newport, 
was the first in the world which prohibited its members from 
purchasing or owning slaves. It must be remembered, however, 
that the Quakers of England, as early as 1761, voted to exclude 
from their communion all who should engage in the slave traffic;* 
and in 1776, the Quakers of Pennsylvania voted to exclude all 
owners of slaves who " refused to execute the proper instruments 
for giving them their freedom."! When it is said, then, that Mr. 
Hopkins's church preceded all others in expressing its intolerance of 
slavery, we must not include the Friends. It is remarkable that as 
early as 1781, while yet in the midst of the revolutionary struggle, 
our reformer proposed some ecclesiastical action on the subject, and 
induced one of his most estimable and prominent church-members 
to pledge himself, that, at the time of his death, he would manumit 
his onl-y remaining slave. In Hopkins's firm chirography, the fol- 
lowing votes now stand on the Church Records. 

"At a meeting of the church, January 30, 1784, it was, Voted : 

" 1. That whereas Deacon Coggeshall did, more than two years 
ago, promise before the church that lie would secure the freedom of 
his black girl, Sarah, that she siiould be free upon his decease, it is 
the opinion of this church that he ought, without delay, to deliver to 
us a paper, properly authenticated, securing to said girl her freedom, 
as above said. 

"2. That Captain Hammond and IMr. Nichols be desired to let 
Deacon Coggeshall know of the above vote, and desire him to com- 
ply with it, without delay." 

"At a meeting of the church, March 5, 1784, Voted: That as 
Deacon Coggeshall has delivered to Mr. Samuel Vinson a paper, in 
which he has secured the freedom of tiie above-said Sarah, and it 
has been read before the church, they are satisfied with respect to 
that matter, and that Mr. Vinson be desired to keep said paper, until 
he shall receive further direction from the church respecting it." 

" At the same meeting, Voted : That tlie slave trade and the 
slavery of the Africans, as it has taken place among us, is a gross 
violation of the righteousness and benevolence which are so much in- 
culcated in the gospel ; and therefore we will not tolerate it in this 

From these votes, it may be, as it has been inferred, that if a 
member of the church, already owning slaves, would give a written 

* In 1727, this estimable body first warned its members against being concerned in 
the trade. 

t Clarkson's History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade, p. 106. From this work, 
and from Copley's History of Slavery, have been gleaned many of the facts commii- 
oicated in these sections. 


158 MEMOIR. 

pledge to liberate them at a future time, that member need not be 
disciphned for retaining his slaves in bondage until that time ; but 
he would be disciplined if he should purchase a new slave ; and no 
man would be allowed to enter the church, either from the world 
or from other churches, unless he first emancipated his bondmen. 
These votes indicate the determined spirit of Mr. Hopkins, and at 
the same time his kindly, considerate temper. He was as far from 
fanaticism, as from attachment to old abuses. 


What were the views of an abohtionist like Hopkins, in regard to 
the proceedings of the Convention which framed the Constitution of 
the United States ? In a letter to Moses Brown, dated October 22, 
1787, about one month after the delegates had agreed on the Fed- 
eral Constitution, Mr. Hopkins sajs : 

" My Kind Friend : I am hurt by the doings of the Convention 

respecting the slave trade. It is as you suppose. They have carefully 
secured the practice of it in these States for twenty years, and prevented any 
asylum for slaves during that term, unless every individual State should sup- 
press the trade. They have taken it out of the hands of Congress. We 
cannot determine, that the major part of the delegates were pleased with this. 
Some of the southern delegates, no doubt, insisted upon it, that the introduc- 
tion of slaves should be secured, and obstinately refused to conform to any 
constitution which did not secure it. The others, therefore, consented, rather 
than have no constitution, or one in which the delegates should not be unani- 
mous. I fear this is an Jlchan, which will bring a curse, so that we cannot 
prosper. At the same time, it appears to me that if this Constitution be not 
adopted by the States, as it now stands, we shall have none, and nothing but 
anarchy and confusion may be expected. I must leave it with the Supreme 
Ruler of the universe, who will do right, and knows what to do with these 
States, to answer his oAvn infinitely wise purposes ; and will vindicate the 
oppressed, and break the arm of the oppressor, in his own way and time, and 
cause the wrath of man to praise him." 

To Dr. Hart, of Preston. — " January 29, 1788. Dear Sir : I thank you 
for your exertions with regard to the slave trade. I should have been glad to 
be informed whether what was reported to Mr. Brown be true ; viz., that they 
are going into this trade at Middletown and Norwich, I hear they threaten 
to carry it on here and at Providence yet, but question whether they will do 
it, as they will expose themselves so much by it. The new Constitution, you 
observe, guarantees this trade for twenty years. I fear, if it be adopted, this 
Avill prove an Achan in our camp. How does it appear in the sight of 
Heaven, and of all good men, well informed, that these States, who have been 
fighting for liberty, and consider themselves as the highest and most noble 
example of zeal for it, cannot agree in any political constitution, unless it in- 
dulge and authorize them to enslave their fellow-men ! I think if this Con- 
stitution be not adopted as it is, without any alteration, we shall have none, and 
shall be in a state of anarchy, and probably of civil war. Therefore I wish 
to have it adopted ; but still, as I said, I fear. And perhaps civil war will 
not be avoided, if it be adopted. Ah ! these unclean spirits, like frogs. 
They, like the Furies of the poets, are spreading discord and exciting men to 
contention and war, wherever they go ; and they can spoil the best constitu- 


tion that can be formed. When Congress shall be formed on the new plan, 
these frogs will be there ; for they go forth to the kings of the earth, in the 
first place. They will turn the members of that august body into devils, so 
far as they are permitted to influence them. Have they not already got pos- 
session of most of the men, who will or can be chosen and appointed to a 
place in that assembly ? I suppose that even good Christians are not out of 
the reacli of influence from these frogs. ' Blessed is he that watcheth and 
keepeth his garments.' " * 

Decidedly as Hopkins opposed some parts of the Constitution, he 
was yet earnestly in favor of adopting it, and he evidently thought 
that, after its adoption, it should be obeyed, actively or passively, in 
all its requirements. He would shut the door, not against amend- 
ment, but against forcible resistance. He deemed the loss of the 
Constitution, as a whole, to be a greater evil, than the retention of 
those articles which he so much disapproved. He believed that when 
the advocates of freedom could not do as well as they would, they 
should do as well as they could. He therefore urged the reluctant 
Rhode Islanders to come into the Federal Compact. In a letter 
dated July 29, 1788, he writes : 

" Some of our politicians, who are Federal, choose that the new Constitu- 
tion should not be adopted by this State ; as they wish for the supposed con- 
sequence of not doing it, viz., that the State will be divided, and part annexed 
to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the other part to Connecticut. 
Rhode Island is to join the former, and Connecticut is to have Narra- 


Often, throughout his correspondence, he expresses his attachment 
to our Constitution, and alludes in reverential terms to those who 
first administered it. He was a great admirer of Washington, and 
trained his family to support the Washiugtonian principles of gov- 


No great change of public morals is effected by a single indi- 
vidual. There are always " reformers before the reformation." It 
is useful to learn the exact relation of Hopkins to other friends of 
the slave, and the degree in which he was distinguished above them, 

* This is indeed strong language ; not so strong, however, as that used by many 
companions of Hopkins in the movement against slavery ; not by any means so strong 
as that used nineteen days before, by Granville Sharp, in a letter to Benjamin Franklin : 
"Having been always zealous," writes Mr. Sharp, (Memoir, p. 253,) "for the honor of 
free governments, I am the more sincerely grieved to see the new Federal Constitution 
stained by the insertion of two most exceptionable clauses of the kind above men- 
tioned ; the one in direct opposition to a most humane article, ordained by the first 
American Congress to be perpetually observed •, and the other in equal opposition to 
an express command of the Almighty, ' not to deliver up the servant that has escaped 
from his master,' &c. Both clauses, however, (the ninth section of the first article, and 
the latter part of the second section of the third article,) are so clearly null and void by 
their iniquity, that it would be even a crime to regard them as law." 

160 MEMOIR. 

or in which they surpassed him. By no means was he the first 
who opposed the system of African slavery. As early as 1640, that 
system had been condemned by Cardinal Ximenes, Charles V., Leo 
X., Queen Elizabeth, and Louis XIIL ; and before the year 1770, it 
had been written against in Europe, by Rev. Morgan Godwyn, 
Richard Baxter, Thomas Tryon, George Fox, Thomas Southern, 
Primatt, Montesquieu, Hutcheson, James Foster, Sir Richard Steele, 
Atkins, Wallis, Rev. Griffith Hughes, Hayter, Postlethwaite, Jeffery, 
Sterne, Rousseau, Bishop Warburton, Granville Sharp ; and in 
America, bv Whitefield, Judge Sewall, William Burling, Ralph 
Sandiford, Benjamin Lay, John Woolman, Anthony Benezet.* 
The English poets, also, such as Milton, Pope, Thomson, Savage, 
Shenslone, Dyer, wrote in harmony with the free genius of song, 
and excited a detestation of the African bondage. The English 
Quakers, as a body, condemned the slave trade in public resolutions, 
passed in 1727, 1758, 1761, and 1763. The Quakers of Pennsyl- 
vania condemned it in their meetings of 1696, 1711, and 1754. The 
greater jjart of all which had been published as early as 1770, was 
against the traffic in slaves ; but we have seen that Hopkins, about 
the year 1770, preached not against the traffic only, but also against 
all property in slaves ; t and as early, at least, as 1773, he projected 
his African mission, with the design of preventing the slave trade ; 

* This beneficent man, whoni Granville Sharp declared to be " unhappily involved 
in the errors of Quakerism," wrote an anti-slavery letter to Mr. Sharp, which was 
received June 22, 1772, the very day of Sharp's triumph in the noted Somerset case. 
In 1767, one of Benczet's works on slavery was republished in England b}' Mr. Sharp ; 
and in IIG'J, one of Sharp's works on slavery was republished (in an abridged form) 
in America, by Mr. Benezet. It was this same Anthony Benezet, whose " Historical 
Account of Guinea" gave such timely aid to Clarkson, in 1785. Benezet published 
his first large work on slavery, in 1762, but had previously written smaller works for 
the press on the same theme. lie thus made a public avowal of his opinions previously 
to the time of Hopkins's Circular and Dialogue. He was more active in political 
circles than Hopkins. But he was less profound in his discussions, and had less influ- 
ence over the clergy. 

t That Hopkins preached against slavery about the year 1770, is evident from the 
following facts. Many of his old parishioners have said, that he thus preached soon after 
he went to Newport, July 21, 1769, and before he started his plan for an African mis- 
sion ; certainly, then, before April, 1773. He himself informed Granville Sharp, that 
he preached against the trade soon after his removal to Newport ; and against slavery 
itself, soon after he had opposed the trade ; and that when he thus preached, he "was, 
so far as [he] then knew, almost alone in [his] opposition to this trade and to the 
slavery of the Africans : " see p. 1-iO, above. It should seem, then, that he must have 
delivered these sermons before the year 1772; for on the first of April, in that year, the 
Virginia House of Burgesses petitioned the king against the importation of slaves into 
their colony ; and on the fourteenth of May, Anthony Benezet wrote, that in Pennsyl- 
vania, Maryland, Virginia, and New England, there was a strong public sentiment 
against the slave system; (see Hoare's Memoir of Granville Sharp, Esq.) Now, can 
it be, that a man so proverbially inquisitive as Hopkins, did not know of these political 
movements, when they were made ? And if he did know of them, he must have stood 
up almost alone against slavery before their occurrence, i. e.. before the spring of 1772. 
He had probably heard of the anti-slavery discussions which commenced at Boston in 
1766, and continued intermittently until the revolution ; but which seem to have been 
confined to political circles, and to have promised no immediate results of great moment. 


and he published a forcible argument against the whole slave system, 
in 1776. He openly denounced the entire scheme, then, before Ben- 
jamin Rush printed his first pamphlet against it, in 1773 ; and before 
Dr. Beattie and .John Wesley made their open opposition to it. He 
even printed his Dialogue as early as Adam Smith and Professor 
Millar printed their works in which slavery was condemned, and be- 
fore a single page had been written on the subject , by Dr. Robert- 
son, Abbe Raynal, Dr. Paley, Bishop Porteus, James Ramsay, who 
first appeared as an anti-slavery author, in 1785, and Thomas Clark- 
son, who wrote his first Essay on the theme in Latin, in 1785, and 
published it in English, in 1786. Granville Sharp became interested 
in the subject by an accident, in 1765, and he published his first 
work against the evil, in 1769, and triumphed in the Somerset case, 
in 1772. He thus preceded Hopkins as a conspicuous friend of the 
slave. But neither he nor any other man had, in 1776, written on 
the theme so forcibly and fundamentally, and at the same time so 
religiously, as this Rhode Island pastor. Unless we include, then, a 
a few estimable preachers among the Society of Friends, Hopkins 
was the first of the American divines, who published an effective re- 
monstrance against the claiming of property in slaves. He was the 
ablest of all writers, English or American, who opposed the slave 
system on strictly religious grounds, as early as 1776. He also sub- 
jected liimself to more of personal suftering, than did the great 
majority of those who assailed the slave system. He set himself 
against the habits and pecuniary income, of the men on whom he 
relied for his daily bread. He sacrificed property and immediate 
reputation.* He was ridiculed and hated by many of his townsmen. 
But he threw over himself, and over his cause, the mantle of religion. 
He allied himself with Jehovah. In reply to the taunts of his fellow- 
citizens, he often predicted, that " God would frown upon New- 
port ; " that " the judgments of Heaven would hang over its dwell- 
ings ; " and a large number of his friends, who saw the grass growing 
in the streets of that beautiful town, for many years after these pre- 
dictions, associated the desolate appearance of the place with the 
vaticinations of that troubled old pastor. His earnest words exerted 
a prolonged influence on the mind of the youthful Channing ; and 
this influence was developed fifty years after it was first exerted. 
That sedate youth ofl;en met at his father's table the old apostle of 
freedom ; and " it was from him that [Channing] first gained his 
convictions of the iniquity of slavery." t 

How far Hopkins preceded other men, and how far they pre- 
ceded him, in forming societies for the aboUtion of slavery, and ia 

* See pp. 94, 110, 116, 119-126, etc., of the present Memoir, 
t Channiog's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 32. 


l&i MEMOIR. 

ecclesiastical action with regard to it, has been detailed on pages 125, 
126, and 157 of this Memoir. His preeminence over his brethren is 
more conspicuous in his scheme for evangelizing Africa. 

On the 19th of January, 1481, the Portuguese missionaries cele- 
brated their first mass in Guinea. As far as can be ascertained, the 
French commenced an African mission, in 1635 ; the Spanish, in 
1652 ; the Morayi'ians, in 1736 ; and the British, in 1751. " The first 
American who is known to have attempted any thing for the conver- 
sion of Africa, was " Dr. Hopkins.* He may have heard, for he 
was inquisitive on missionary themes, of Rev. Thomas Thompson, 
who was the first, but not very consistent English missionary in 
Africa,t and who had previously labored five years in New Jersey. 
Be that as it may, for about thirty years, Hopkins was strenuous in 
his exertions to wake up the missionary spirit in behalf of the negro 
race. In about twelve years from tlie date of his last communica- 
tion on the theme, a spirit of missions was extensively developed in 
behalf of all the heathen races, and the sons of two of his disciples 
had consecrated themselves to the foreign enterprise. Is it at all im- 
probable, that his extensive correspondence on the African mission, 
had predisposed the hearts of many in favor of the American Board 1 
And would it be singular if his letters to Great Britain, on the same 
subject, had exerted some influence on Carey, Fuller, Pearce, and 
Ryland, (two of whom were his correspondents, and all of whom 
were his friends,) who formed the first Missionary Society of Eng- 
land, in 1793, nearly twenty years after Hopkins had written in 
favor of evangelizing Africa? 

The scheme of colonizing Africa on religious principles is yet 
more evidently Hopkinsian. Dr. Alexander, of Princeton, says : J 
" As well as can be ascertained by a diligent research, the first man' 
who ever seriously contemplated sending a colony to Africa, was 
Dr. Thornton, a native of Virginia; but at the time when he 
conceived this plan, a resident of the city of Washington, where he 
is still remembered, as at the same time a man of many eccentrici- 
ties, arising from a vivid genius, and a real philanthropist. Dr. 
Thornton not only formed a plan of African colonization, but ac- 
tually attempted its execution, intending to become himself the leader 
of the colony. Therefore, in the year 1787, he published an ' Ad- 
dress ' to the free people of color in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, 

* Rev. Joseph Tracy's Historical Examination of the State of Society in Western 
Africa, (p. 3-1,) — a pamphlet from which several of the facts here staled are derived. 

t We are sorry to read the following sentence in a letter of Granville Sharp to the 
Archbishop of Canterbury, dated August 1, 1786 : — "I fully answered their missionary, 
the Rev. Thomas Th — ps — n, who had attempted publicly to vindicate the African 
slave trade, and [I] sent my answer to Mr. Benezet in MS., which was printed in 
America by the Quakers." — Hoare's Life of Sharp, p. 262. 

t History of African Colonization, p. 61. 

MEMOIR. 163 

inviting them to accompany him to the western coast of Africa, with 
the view of planting a colony in the land of their forefathers. 
Although Dr. Hopkins's plan preceded this many years, yet his was 
rather a missionary than a colonization scheme ; although, as we 
have seen, it probably suggested the first idea of the colony at Sierra 
Leone. But Dr. Thornton was undoubtedly the first who conceived, 
and attempted to carry into effect, a plan for a colony of free colored 
people on the western coast of Africa." 

With regard to this statement, we need only say, that Granville 
Sharji wrote a private memorandum with regard to such a colony in 
1783, and proj)osed his scheme to others, in 1786;* and therefore 
seems to have preceded Dr. Thornton, whose first public movement 
is mentioned by Dr. Alexander as being made in 1787. It is highly 
probable, that Mr. Hopkins first conceived his plan of African coloni- 
zation, as early as 1773; and it can be proved, that he wrote upon it 
to a friend, as early as April, 1784, and then mentioned it, as a pro- 
posal which had been ' on foot for some time.' He could not have 
been indebted to Granville Sharp for this plan. Sharp's mention of 
it in 1783 was private, and his mention of it in 1786 does not appear 
to have been known by Hopkins, or any American, for some time 
afterward. Neither could Hopkins have received his idea from Dr. 
Thornton ; for in 1787, when Dr. Thornton made his first appeal to 
the community, Hopkins says of it, " I have, as you know, sir, 
been for years desirous of an attempt to make such a settlement." f 

Dr. Alexander says, that Hopkins's was " rather a missionary than 
a colonization scheme." It would have been more accurate to say, 
that the scheme was both a missionary and a colonization scheme. 
It was a plan not at first for promiscuous, but for carefully regulated 
colonization. It made Christianity prominent. It proposed the 
religious improvement of the slaves, as the chief reason for their 
emigration. But the prominence of religion aided, rather than 
depressed, the colonizing enterprise. Whatever Hopkins undertook 
was blended with the kingdom of Christ ; yet, as evangelical instruc- 
tion was to be given both in Granville Sharp's and in Dr. Thornton's 
colony, Hopkins regarded both as cajiable of being united with that 
which he had antecedently proposed. 

But although Dr. Alexander regards the colonization movement as 
having been prompted by the Virginian instead of the New Eng- 
lander, he yet supposes that Hopkins's " extraordinary enterprise " 
"had a real connection with the scheme of African colonization," 
which is now in progress, and which in some particulars is unlike 
that of the Newport divine. Dr. Alexander conjectures, that Hop- 
kins's scheme may have suggested to Granville Sharp the plan of 

* Prince Hoare's Memoirs of Granville Sharp, Esq., pp. 259, 260, 263. 
i Letter to Moses Brown. See p. 139, above. 

164 MEMOIR. 

colonizing Sierra Leone ; and says that " the recollection of this 
scheme of Dr. Hopkins, to send back to Africa some of her sons as 
missionaries, in all probability suggested the idea of African coloniza- 
tion." * The Society in Scotland for Propagating the Gospel, made 
this proposal of Hopkins known to the British public ; and it were 
very natural to infer the expediency of colonizing, from the wisdom 
of evangelizing that benighted land. Still, we are warranted to say 
no more than this. If either of the two great men, Sharp and Hop- 
kins, received his first idea of colonization indirectly from the other, 
it is more probable that the grandson of the English archbishop was 
aided by the Puritan divine, than that the Puritan divine was aided 
by the grandson of the archbishop. To the British philanthropist, 
belongs the distinction of having been first to execute the plan which, 
perhaps, was never suggested to him by another. To the Rhode 
Island philanthropist, belongs the distinction of having been the first 
man in the world who is known to have originated a scheme of 
African colonization, and of having " done what he could " to make 
it practically successful. This scheme was not a bare idea. It had 
an historical result. How could it have been otherwise 1 Every 
good thought is useful. Such a thought as this, presented to the 
j)ublic year after year by a powerful reasoner, must have produced 
an impression, deep, if not obvious. Who has ever labored so long 
for any worthy object, without accomplishing some good 1 It must 
be remembered, that with all his foes, some of the most enterprising 
ministers in New England were the admirers and disciples of Hop- 
kins. He addressed to them letters and circulars ; he sent to them 
newspapers and sermons on the subject, and thus prepared their own 
minds and the minds of their children for a scheme of evangelizing 
Africa, by means of moral and religious colonies. Let us contem- 
plate one among several like instances, of the effect which Hopkins 
may have produced on the generation that was entering, when he 
was leaving, the scenes of public life. 

Samuel J. Mills was in his twenty-first year, when the subject of 
this Memoir died. The fiither of Mr. Mills was the Congregational 
minister of Torringford, Connecticut, a town in the vicmity of Great 
Barrington. He is known to have been a personal admirer of Hop- 
kins, a believer in the main peculiarities of the Hopkinsian theology. 
He was recognized through life as siibstanfialli/, although not in all 
minuticc, a Hopkinsian divine. It is understood, that as long as both 
of these pastors lived, they were in the habit of personal intercourse 
with each other; at least as often as once a year, at the Hartford 
election ; and that Hopkins was in the habit of sending to Torring- 

* Alexander's History of African Colonization, p. 55. Dr. Alexander seems to have 
thought, that Hopkins corresponded with Sharp before the Sierra Leone project had been 
started. Not so, however. 

MEMOIR. 165 

ford, as to other towns, some of the essays which he published on 
his favorite AfricaH scheme.* Now it is an interesting fact, that 
in less than seven years after the death of Hopkins, Samuel J. 
Mills, the son of the Torringford pastor, wrote in his Diary : — 
" I long to have the time arrive, when the gospel shall be preached 
to the poor Africans, and likewise to all nations." f Why did the 
African mission, rather than the Indian, first occur to him at this 
early period ? In thirteen years after the death of the man who had 
recommended the formation of a " Company," for superintending 
the emigration of the negroes, (see p. 147, above,) Mr. INIills became 
a conspicuous agent for a colonization society. It was with the 
spirit of a missionary, that he embarked in an enterprise, which was 
commended twenty years before, in the same spirit, by his father's 
friend. Can any one, who has watched the transmission of influence 
from fireside interviews and juvenile impressions, (especially in the 
families of our New England pastors,) be slow to believe, that the 
mind of young Mills had been, in some degree, directly or indirect- 
ly, educated for this sphere of beneficence by the journals and pam- 
phlets which his father had been receiving, for thirty years, from the 
Newport divine ? It is not according to the analogy of God's provi- 
dence, that thirty years of untiring labor for any benevolent enter- 
prise, should fail to produce some impression upon the families 
which were partial to the laborer. 

We do not pretend, that Hopkins produced a distinctly and easily 
perceptible effect in favor of Christianizing or of colonizing Africa. 
The many disappointments of his life give it a tinge of melancholy. 
His was not the cheering lot of such men as Moses Stuart, who, be- 
fore they die, clearly see the results of their life's toil. Hopkins 
lived by faith, not by sight. He disseminated philanthropic plans, 
whose influence has been in a great measure invisible. But unseen 
results are none the less real. It is one lesson to be g^athered from 
his Memoir, that perseverance in duty, even amid disheartening re- 
pulses, will end well ; that an idea will never be lost, even though it 
be " buried long ; " that " great truths can be expressed no where, 
without spreading themselves every loliere.'''' 

* In attempting to ascertain, wlielher these two clergymen were in the habit of 
epistolary correspondence with each other, the writer learned, that iu December, 1823, 
when Mr. Mills was eighty years of age, his house, library, manuscripts, portrait, 
etc., were burned. It is distinctly remembered, however, that among other works of 
Hopkins in Mr. Mills's librarj', was the Memoir of Madam Osborn, which details a part 
of the scheme for civilizing and evangelizing Africa. This Memoir was extensively 
read a half century ago, in the families of New England clergymen. 

t Spring's Life of Mills, p. 24. 



Mr. Hopkins was not one of those men who expend their zeal on 
remote objects of charity, while they neglect such as are near at 
home. On the 23d of .Tune, 1780, he writes to Dr. West : 

" The blacks look to me as their patron, and some of them have applied to 
me to preach to them in public, alleijing that a considerable number would 
attend, and that there was an uncommon and increasinj^ desire among them 
to be instructed. I have preached to them two Sabbaths, at six o'clock, P. M., 
in the meeting-house. A considerable number attend, and behave so well, 
that the whites who are present, (for they are not excluded,) can't but speak 
in their favor. But this, I expect, will make me many enemies, and be the 
occasion of my falling under mucli reproach. However, a persuasion that I 
am in the way of duty, and the hope that I may be the means of some good to 
the poor blacks, I hope will be sufficient to support me, whatever obloquy or 
suffering' may be the consequence." 

Notwithstanding all his abstruse discussions, his meeting-house 
was the favorite resort of the negro population, on the Sabbath. 
" One side of the gallery was appropriated to their use." Several 
of them belonged to his church ; and among the subscribers to his 
" metaphysical " System of Divinity are enrolled the names, not only 
of Dr. Erskine, of Edinburgh, and Dr. Ryland, of England, but also 
of Congo Jenkins and Zingo Stevens, of Newport, and Cato Mum- 
ford and Nimble Nightingale, of Providence. There were seven- 
teen negro subscribers, in Providence and Newport, for that recon- 
dite work. The remembrance of such facts as these, led Dr. Chan- 
ning to say, that Hopkins " labored for the education of the colored 
people, and had the happiness of seeing the fruits of his labors in the 
intelligence and exemplary piety of those who came under his in- 
fluence. " * 


Mr. Hopkins lived at a period of high political excitement. He 
took an interest in all that concerned his country. " His Fast Ser- 
mons," says one of his successors at Newport,! " were a perfect 
terror to evil-doers." " Like most of the ministers of the time," 
says Dr. Channing, " he was a strong Federalist." He did not 
spare the opposing party, although one of his prominent male church 
members was earnest in its defence. About a year before his de^th, 
he writes : 

" December 14, 1802. On thanksgiving day, I said in my sermon, 'that we 
had no reason to be thankful that the distinguished blasphemer of Christ and 
Christianity, and reviler of our beloved Washington, — Paine, — was come to 
America, and that he was invited here and caressed by many who were in 
high stations ! ' This was soon spread through the town, and obtained the 

* Channing's Works, vol. iv. p. 350. 

t Rev. Dr. Hitchcock, of Randolph, Mass. 

MEMOIR. 167 

encomium of the Federalists ; but the contrary of some of the Democrats. I 
say some of them, because I believe that a number of them are really ashamed 
and sorry, that he was invited in the manner he has been, and that he is come." 

Equally decided was Mr. Hopkins on questions of church govern- 
ment. His friend Dr. Hart, while absorbed in the plan of union 
between the Presbyterians and Congregatioualists, desired the New- 
port divine's opinion on the subject, and received the following 
reply : 

" August 30, 1791. You inform me that a committee from the Synod oi 
General Assembly of Presbyterians, and one from the clergy in Connecticut, 
are to meet at New Haven ; and ask, ' What do you think we shall do ? ' An- 
swer: I believe you Avill do nothing very great and important. It may serve 
to cultivate friendship, and keep up a correspondence which may answer val- 
uable ends. And you may agree upon some method or rule, by wliich can- 
didates or dismissed ministers shall be recommended from one to the other, 
without which recommendation they shall not be received ; which may pre- 
vent, in future, disorders of that kind which have taken place heretofore. But 
it cannot be expected, that you will agree and unite in 07ic form of church 
government and discipline." 

After Mr. Hopkins had been engaged in studying the prophecies, 
and had become familiar with the symbolical style, he made frequent 
use of the epithet frogs. In one of his letters he says : " On the 
18th of this month, the Rev. Mr. James Freeman was ordained pas- 
tor of the First Episcopal Church in Boston. This was done, I con- 
clude, by the Congregational ministers in Boston. What is the world 
coming to! This is Catholicism indeed! Frogs — spirits of devils, 
working wonders ! " Mr. Freeman was afterwards a Unitarian. 

It is well known that Mr. Hopkins was active in the formation of 
Congregational churches ; and he left among his papers the ensuing 
plan of government and discipline. It possesses a rare historical 
value. It illustrates its author's independence, his high tone of 
morals, his exactness of Christian discipline. 

^'^ Articles of a Cliurch. 

" We, the subscribers, being persuaded that we are called by God to form 
ourselves into a Christian church, entering into covenant with God, and witli 
each other, to walk in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, and 
to watch over and assist one another in love and faithfulness, and devoting 
ourselves, with all we have, to the service of Christ, and to promote his inter- 
est and kingdom, do agree in the following articles, which we think agreeable 
to the Word of God, and important, and necessary to be observed, in order to 
the best regulation and prosperity of a church of Christ. 

"I. That none are qualified, in the sight of God, to be members of a 
Christian churcli, unless they be true believers in Jesus Christ, so as to be his 
real friends, and obedient to him. And therefore none are visible members 
of a church of Christ, or ought to be admitted there, but those who appear to 
understand the doctrines and precepts of the gospel, and profess true repent- 
ance, and faith in Christ, and engage hearty obedience to him, and whose 
conversation ia agreeable to such profession and engagement. 



"II. The children of those believers who are members of the visible 
church, observing all things which Christ has commanded, are included in 
the covenant with their parents, and are proper subjects of baptism, and ought 
to be given up to Christ in that ordinance by the parents. But no other chil- 
dren may be baptized. 

" III. A careful and strict discipline is to be exercised and maintained by 
every particular church, over all the members of it ; being very careful and 
cautious in admitting members, that none be admitted but those who appear 
to have the qualifications above mentioned ; and watching over one another, 
and reproving and admonishing those who walk disorderly, contrary to their 
profession and engagements ; and casting them out of the church, who, after 
proper admonition, continue impenitent and unreformed. And the general 
rule, for the discipline of offending members, is given by Christ in Matt, 
xviii. 15, &c. 

" IV. In all cases to be decided by the church, the voice of the majority of 
the brethren present must be considered as the act of the church. However, 
when there shall be any dissenters, who disagree with the majority, in any 
case, they must be treated with love and great tenderness ; and all proper 
means must be used by the rest of the church to convince them, and persuade 
them, at least, so far to acquiesce in the act of the church, as to take no offence, 
though they cannot see tlieir way clear to act with them. 

" V. The pastor of the church is to have no vote in the decision of any 
matter before the church. He is to act as moderator, and give all the light 
and assistance he can to the church, in all cases that may lie before them. 

" VI. Every cimrch hath a right to choose their own pastor ; but he is to 
be ordained to the work of the ministry, not by the brethren of the church, 
but by the laying on of the hands of the Presbytery ; that is, ministers of the 

" VII. There ought not to be any appeal from the judgment and decision 
of a particular church, to any higher judicatory which has authority to set 
aside what they do, or oblige them to recede from it ; but each church hath 
full power to determine, within and for itself, who shall be admitted as mem- 
bers, and who ought to be censured and cast out; and to decide all other mat- 
ters that may be before them. But it may be proper and expedient, in cases 
that are difficult, or in which the church is much divided, before tlicy proceed 
to act and decide, to request tiie assistance of pastors and delegates of other 
churches, in order to obtain light and direction. But such pastors and dele- 
gates have no authority to control the church which applies to them ; but only 
to instruct and advise. 

" VIII. As the education of the children of the church, who have been bap- 
tized, is of vast importance, and the parents have solemnly engaged, to God 
and to the church, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of tlie I^ord, 
the church ought to take a particular care of this matter ; and where there ap- 
pears to be a great neglect, the faulty parent is to be admonished, and reject- 
ed if he do not reform. And such children are to be under the care and dis- 
cipline of the church, when they are adult, so as to be capable of judging and 
acting for themselves, in matters of religion. And if they walk disorderly, 
and refuse to do whatsoever Christ has commanded, after proper admonition, 
they are to be rejected. > 

" IX. The church ought to have frequent stated meetings ; at least, always 
before their attendance on the Lord's snpper, which ought to be once a month, 
at least. At which meeting, and all other meetings of the church, both males 
and females ought to attend, when tlie business that may be before the church 
is to be transacted ; and the church are to pray together, and to converse freely 
on any matters relating to their holy profession, that may be proposed, and 
receive instruction and exhortation from the pastor, as time and circumstances 
admit and require. 

" X. The persons that desire to join with the church, shall apply to tlie 
pastor; and after they have been examined by him, shall come before the 


MEMOIR. 169 

churcli, at one of their meetings mentioned in tlie preceding article, that the 
church may have opportunity to satisfy themselves respecting their qualifica- 
tions for admission. And if the church approve of them, their proposal to join 
with the cliurch shall be published to the congregation. And if no reasona- 
ble objection be made against it, they shall then be admitted, by making a 
public profession, and entering into covenant. 

" XI. When any person shall be recommended to stated communion in the 
church, by any other church, as in good standing with them, he shall not be 
admitted upon such recommendation, until he give opportunity to the church 
to be acquainted with his religious sentiments and exercises, so far as to sat- 
isfy them that it is proper for them to admit him. 

"XII. As the church is a public society, a city set upon a hill, that cannot 
be hid, the members of it ought to be admitted publicly, before the congrega- 
tion ; and when any person falls under the censure of the church, he ought not 
to be restored until he makes a public, credible profession of repentance. 
And when the church rejects any of its members, it ought to be done pub- 

" XIII. It belongs to the church to choose their pastor, and to see that he 
is well supported, so that he may give liimself wholly to the work of the min- 
istry, if they be able, taking the whole of it on themselves, except what others 
shall voluntarily give. And in furnishing this support, each member of the 
church ought to give in proportion to his substance and ability. And the 
church are to watch over each other with respect to this ; and if any member 
shall neglect and refuse to do so much as the church shall judge is no more 
than his proportion, he ought to be rejected and censured as covetous. 

" XIV. The church ought to take a kind and tender care of all the poor 
members who need their assistance, so that none shall want of necessaries for 
the body. And for this end they ought always to have a sufficient stock in 
the hands of the deacons, to be distributed by them according to their best 

" XV. The church is to choose deacons, who are to take the charge and 
care of all the temporals of the church, for the support of the pastor, the sup- 
ply of the poor of the church, and furnisjiing the Lord's table, or for answering 
any other purposes which the church shall undertake. And the deacons ought 
to be ordained to this M'ork. 

" XVI. Brethren ought not to go to law with each other ; according to 1 
Cor. vi. 1, &c. But when any one thinks himself injured by another in his 
temporal interest, if the matter cannot be healed more privately, he ought to 
bring it before the church. And if the injurious person refuse to hear tlie 
church, ho must be rejected ; and then the injured brother may make use of 
the civil law to recover his riglit. 

" XVII. Churches ought not to allow any of their members to marry to 
persons of openly wicked lives, or who are infidels, or embrace and maintain 
damnable errors." 


When we reflect on the philanthropic movements of this indefati- 
gable man, we are inclined to imagine that he was merely a philan- 
thropist ; and when we consider his theological labors, we are apt to 
conceive of him as merely a theologian. We forget that his philan- 
thropy was his theology drawn out into practice, and that his theo- 
logical speculations were prompted and followed by philanthropic 
aims. We cannot understand him as a theologian, without cxam- 

170 MEMOIR. 

iniiig his life of beneficence ; and we cannot appreciate his activity 
in doing good, without studying his peculiarities as a divine. 

In estimating the influence of our author's personal character 
upon his theological system, let us first consider his transparent 
honesty, as affecting the structure of his creed. Seeking neither 
wealth nor fame, he kept his mind open to the teachings of the divine 
word, and scrupled not to express his convictions, whatever they 
might be. His system, therefore, is his own. A large part of its 
value consists in the fact, that it is the result of his own thought, and 
is so expressed as to please himself rather than his neighbors. This 
is a rare merit. Of what use is it to write a theological system for 
the purpose of gratifying the prejudices of a party ? In reading the 
works of Hopkins, we feel that we are near his heart. Whether we 
approve or disapprove his words, we are quickened by them, as the 
plain-spoken language of an honest man. He did not write as a 
diplomatist. In some respects, he resembled the early teachers of 
Christianity. As they resisted all the religious parties around them, 
so he, amiable as was his private character, gave offence to all the 
sects and schools with whom he came in contact. He often spoke 
in condemnatory words of " those who called themselves Calvinists, 
that were for palliating the matter by, as it were, trimming off the 
knots of Calvinism, that they might conform it more to the taste of 
those who are most disposed to object against it." His entire frank- 
ness of spirit led him to express, in sermons and public addresses, 
such doctrines, with regard to the divine agency in the production of 
sin, as other Calvinists had expressed in scientific treatises only. 
Where this honesty was known, it was highly revered ; and, there- 
fore, many of the Quakers, the Methodists, the Baptists, who had 
opposed his doctrinal views, were among the most reverential ad- 
mirers of him as a man and a Christian. 

The open-heartedness of Hopkins is well illustrated in the follow- 
ing reminiscence by Dr. Channing : " One day he dined at my 
father's, with a young minister who was willing to comply with the 
costume of the day, but whose modesty only allowed the ruffles to 
peep from his breast. The doctor said, with good humor, ' I don't 
care for ruffles ; but if I wore them, I'd wear them like a man.' " * 
Ifwas just so in his theology. He exposed what he had. 

Our author's strength of character induced him to give an unusual 
prominence to the more difficult parts of theology, and thus it shaped 
his entire system. Whether his speculations be true or false, he has 
done a great work in promoting manly discussion, in convincing his 
readers that piety is something more than a blind sentimentalism, 
and that theology is something better than a superstitious faith. He 

* Works, vol. iv. p. 348. 

MEMOIR. 171 

has encouraged men to examine intricate theories, and the examina- 
tion has saved them from scepticism. Hundreds have been repulsed 
into infidehty, by the fear of good men to encounter philosophical 
objections. Hopkins was too strong for such fears. He had that 
sterling common sense which loves to grapple with important truths, 
cost what they may of toil. The great problem of the existence of 
sin early awakened his curiosity, and moved the depths of his 
heart.* A weaker man would have shrunk from the investigation 
of such a theme. But he was ready to defend all parts of what he 
loved to call " a consistent Calvinism." His readiness to encounter 
the hardest subjects and the sturdiest opponents, was foretokened by 
one of his early corporeal feats. It is reported that an insane man, 
stalwart and furious, was once escaping from his keepers with fearful 
speed ; but the young divine intercepted him, and held him fast until 
the maniac gave up, and cried, " Hopkins, you are my master." 

Throughout the unpublished and the published writings of Hop- 
kins, there breathes a masculine spirit, which refuses to be satisfied by 
assertion instead of argument, and insists on the legitimate use of 
the faculties which God has given us. At the age of sixty-five, he 
writes to Dr. Hart : "I ask what faith I shall have in the power of 
God, or what belief of any revealed truth, if I do not so far trust to 
my own understanding, as to think and be confident that I do under- 
stand that God has revealed certain truths, and what they are." In 
his thirty-fifth year, Hopkins seized at what he deemed a tacit con- 
cession of Dr. Mayhew, that Arminianism coidd not be sustained by 
reason. He writes to Bellamy : " I think he [Mayhew] says that 
which may be fairly construed as a crying down reason, under the 
name of metaphysical, or some epithet tantamount." Hopkins was 
too vigorous to leave such a concession unnoticed. He turns the 
tables on his Arminian opposers, and they censure him for Fiis argu- 
mentative style, — the very thing for which they have been censured, 
again and again, by their antagonists. Our stout champion says, 
that " Pelagians and Arminians have been, in too many instances, 
treated so by their opponents, the professed Calvinists. The former 
have gloried in their reasoning against the latter, as unanswerable 
demonstratio)!. The latter, instead of detecting the weakness, fallacy, 
and absurdity of the reasoning of the former, and maintaining their 
cause on this ground, as well the^j might, have endeavored to defend 
themselves from this weapon by bringing it into disgrace, and rejecting 

* Five weeks after he had finished his theological studies at Northampton, our young 
candidate is found in a dispute with the missionary Sergeant, Edwards's predecessor 
at Stockbridgc. He writes : " July 8, 1713. Went to see Mr. Sergeant, and in our 
discourse he denied that the apostle spake of himself in the seventh chapter of Romans. 
We had some talk upon it, but brought nothing to a point. I am not satisfied whether 
il is from an Arminian principle or not, that Mr. Sergeant holds this. I know many 
Arminians are of his mind as to this chapter." 

172 MEMOIR. 

it under the name of carnal, unsanctified reason, &c. This has been 
so far from humbling or giving them the least conviction of their errors, 
that it has had a contrary effect to a very great and sensible degree. 
And no wonder ; for this was the direct tendency of it, as it is an 
implicit confession that they felt themselves worsted at reasoning." * 

Our author's benevolence and sense of justice and equity moulded 
his theological belief. It was more natural for him than for some 
other men, to resolve all virtue into benevolence. He had virtue 
enough to bear an analysis, and he felt that all liis virtue was reduci- 
ble to love. He judged that our moral disease needed severe medi- 
cines, and he therefore gave them. He aimed to increase the happiness 
of men, by making them willing to lose themselves in the divine glory. 
He was strict, because he deemed a strict life to be a truly kind one. 
His faith was rigid, for the same reason that his conduct was philan- 
thropic. The tendency of some modern speculations to discourage 
all penal enactments, is effectually met by the profound reasonings 
of our author on the justice of eternal punishment. The spirit of 
his entire system is one of stern opposition to sin, because sin de- 
serves this opposition, and because the interests of the universe 
require it. He gives an unusual prominence to the idea, that the 
severest of the divine dispensations are prompted by a desire to pro- 
mote the highest hap])iness of the largest number. He meant that 
those theories which are called severe, should rest on a basis of love. 
It would have been impossible for him to make the doctrines of high 
Calvinism so impressive as he has made them, unless he had ex- 
plained, with unusual fulness, the equity of the divine administration. 
He ever attempted to show that his doctrines were fair, as well as 
true. He believed that God imputes the sin of Adam to all men, but 
only because, and so far forth as, all men have first "approved of" 
that sin, and chosen to make it their own. He believed that God 
imputes the holiness of Christ to believers ; but only on condition 
that tliey first " approve of" Christ's holiness, and prefer to imitate it. 
The genius of Hopkins's theology consists in its attempting to show 
the entire rectitude of the divine government, and then in exalting 
that government high above all other interests. We cannot delight 
too much in a sovereignty which is congenial with equity. The 
speculations of our author have betin termed abstract ; some of them 
were so, but their general aim was practical and benevolent. Their 
main drift was, to enforce obedience to God, by showing that obedi- 
ence is our reasonable duty. Their prevailing scope was to prove, 
that God ought to be a Sovereign, and, therefore, is one ; that 
his decrees are amiable, and, therefore, we ought to acquiesce in 
them, whatever they may be ; that his law is level to our natural 
power, and, therefore, ought to be obeyed forthwith. We do not 

• Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. pp. 492, 493. 

MEMOIR. 178 

suppose that all his speculations were perfectly accurate, but they all 
pointed to this practical truth : The first, the immediate, the fair, 
the reasonable duty of all moral agents is, to love the government of 
God supremely, and submit to it without reserve ; to this duty, and 
to nothing save what involves this duty, sinners ought to be urged at 
once, and without exception. By the new distinctness which llo[)- 
kins gave to this truth, he has been made, and is now made, an in- 
strument of many revivals of rehgion. He, and the men who drank 
of his spirit, have been distinguished as philanthropic and enterprising 

We cannot better illustrate our author's nice regard to equity, 
than in the following Essay, which he wrote only twelve years after 
Edwards had published the Treatise on the Will. The essay exhib- 
its, also, that strength of mind, that honesty of heart, which made 
our author what he was. Unless he had written and preached often 
in the style of the following discussion, he could not have sustained 
himself in his high theories on the predestinating and sovereign 
agency of God. We shall misunderstand those theories, unless we 
view them in the light which they receive from the Hopkinsian 
statements in the discussion here appended. The author first pro- 
poses three questions, and then gives his truly Edwardean answers. 

" Question first. If underived virtue is peculiar to the Deity, can it be the 
duty of a creature to have it ? 

" Question second. If we actually have all that is communicated to us, i;3 
not this all we should have ? i 

" Question third. If it is, is not every man as good as he should be ? 

"In order to answer these questions, I begin with the first. If underived 
virtue is peculiar to the Deity, can it be the didy of a creature to have itf 

" In answering this question, I would first lay down this axiom ; for the 
proof of which, if not granted by all, I refer to Edwards on the Will, passim : 
Moral impossibility or inability in man to perform any duty, does not excuse 
him for not performing it. 

" Again, before I proceed, I shall inquire into the sense of the word peculiar ; 
for I perceive there is an ambiguity attending it, which will be apt to lead 
into mistake. The word peculiar sometimes signifies that which so belongs 
to a being or thing that it is absolutely impossible, in the nature of things, 
that it should belong to any thing else ; or, that there is a natural impossibili- 
ty that it should belong to any other being or thing, even though that other 
being should desire it, and choose it never so much. Thus, self-existence, 
infinity, &.c., are pecidiar to God. 

" But again, the word peculiar sometimes signifies no more than that which 
belongs only to some being or beings, and not to all, or to some other being ; 
though it might belong to this other being, did he but choose it and seek after 
it. Thus, a knowledge of the liberal arts and sciences is peculiar to some 
men, and does not belong to others, who might as well have it, if they did but 
choose it and properly seek after it. Thus, also, justice and benevolence are 
peculiar to some men, although all might possess them if they would. In this 
latter sense, underived virtue is peculiar to the Deity ; so that although no 
creature actually possesses it, yet all rational creatures might possess it, if 
they would ; i. e., all creatures, supposing them to be created with barely 

* See, for example, p. 64 of the present Memoir. 

174 MEMOIR. 

those natural faculties which constitute them moral agents, may, if they 
choose it, become possessed of that virtue which shall be underived m any 
other sense than this : that as they have derived their existence from God, so 
they themselves, and every act and habit of theirs, or disposition of their 
wills, is in some sense derived. But their virtue may be as much underived, 
as men's wickedness is now. I say, there is nothing but a volition or choice 
of theirs wanting to effect this. For virtue consists primarily and principally 
in a certain disposition of will ; which, let us suppose, for the present, to be 
benevolence ; for it makes no odds, in the present question, what disposition 
we suppose it to be. Then, I say, nothing but a choice is necessary in order 
to put one in possession of benevolence ; for if we do but choose benevo- 
lence, we are pleased with it, and are in love with it ; and if we are in love 
with it, then we have an inclination or disposition of will to it. If we have a 
disposition of will to it, then we have a disposition to wish well to all beings. 
If we have a disposition to wish well to all beings, then we have benevolence ; 
for this is nothing but such a disposition. Therefore, if we do but choose 
benevolence, we actually have benevolence. Therefore, there is nothing but 
a volition or choice wanting in any creature, in order to his becoming pos- 
sessed of underived virtue. In this latter sense, therefore, underived virtue is 
peculiar to the Deity. 

" Thus we have shown in what sense underived virtue is peculiar to the 
Deity ; viz., only actually, or in fact, peculiar to him, and not necessarily ; i. e., 
there is no other impossibility but a moral one, that a rational creature should 
possess it. And since that (by the forementioned axiom) does not excuse 
from duty, notwithstanding underived virtue is peculiar to the Deity, yet it 
may well enough be the duty of creatures to have it. 

" This, then, is the answer to the first question : Yes, it can be the duty of a 
creature to have it ; and actually is so, if it be his duty to have every amiable 
quality which [it] is in his power to have, which he has a fair offer of, to 
choose or refuse, as he pleases. 

" Now, against this answer, I perceive several objections will be vehement- 
ly urged. As, ' That men canH become possessed of underived virtue, it is 
absolutely impossible, and men might as well give themselves a new heart, 
which we know from Scripture to be the peculiar work of God,' &c. 

" As to the Avords canH, impossible, &c., I suppose it is generally well un- 
derstood what a fallacy is couched in them ; and how vastly different their 
signification is, when used in a moral and philosophical sense, (Avhich is the 
case here,) from what it is when they are used in their vulgar sense. So 
that I need say nothing to explain the matter here. 

" Again, when it is said, ' men might as well give themselves a new heart,' 
tins is granted, that they might. And although we allow that this work is 
peculiar to God, yet it is peculiar only in the latter sense, above [named]. So 
that the greatest sinner on earth can renew his own heart, or change his will, 
whenever he pleases ; which lie is bound to do immediately ; and is tlireatened 
with eternal damnatiou'if he finally does not. 

" It may also be objected, ' That it is impossible that God should make a 
creature to be possessed oi' underived virtue ; how, then, is any such thing pos- 
sible at all, since AhnigUy God cannot effect it?' To which I answer, It is 
just as possible, as sin was before it entered into the world. If by God's 
making a creature to be possessed of underived virtue, be meant his enduing 
a creature with it, we grant it is impossible, naturally impossible. For it is a 
contradiction, to suppose that that which is endued or bestowed should be 
underived. But that God should make a creature having perfect liberty, is in 
no wise impossible. Neither is it, nor can it be, any other way impossible, 
but fn a moral sense, that such a creature should choose virtue, and so become 
possessed of it, as much underived as any disposition or volition whatever. 

" It may further be said, after this manner : ' How is it possible that any 
creature should have underived virtue, when all virtue is as much diffused 
from God, as its fountain, as light is from tlie sun ? Might not men as well 

MEMOIR. 175 

see light without its being disseminated from the sun, as have any virtue un- 
derived from God ? ' It is readily granted, as has already been intimated, 
that all virtue is as really and actually from God as light is from the sun ; yet 
still this instance is not exactly parallel. And concerning all such illustra- 
tions, transferred from the natural world to things of a moral nature, it is 
T/orthy of obser^-ation, that there is a great fallacy in them, and they greatly 
tend to deceive ; as in such affairs, in the natural world, the will of no crea- 
ture, perhaps, or at least of the person spoken of, can make any alteration in 
any respect, let it be which way it will. But things of a moral nature are all 
dependent on the will, and are just as that is. So, in the present instance, if 
the sun should be removed, or cease to diffuse light, men could not see, let 
them choose and desire it as much as they will. Whereas it has been before 
shown, that if men did but once choose virtue, they would be actually in pos- 
session of it, however uncoramunicated by God. 

" Thus it is shown, that tliough underived virtue be peculiar to the Deity, 
yet it may be, and in fact is, the duty of every rational creature to have it. 
And also several objections which might be made against this doctrine, have 
been answered ; all which, taken together, may suffice for an answer to the 
Jirst question. 

" The first being answered, tliere need but a word or two be said to the 

" Question second. If we actually have all that is actually communicated 
to us, is not this all we should have ? 

" Answer. No ; because, by the foregoing answer, we are obliged to have 
what is not communicated to us, viz., underived virtue ; (or, we are obliged to 
have and exercise virtue, whether it is communicated to us or not.) 

" Question third. If it is, is not eveiy man as good as he should be ? 

" Answer. But it is not, by answer second. Every man, therefore, is not 
as good as he should be ; because, although he has all that is actually com- 
municated, yet he has not all that he should have. 

"Great Barrington, February 11, 17G0." 

If the preceding document had been publislied before Emmons 
wrote bis sermon on "The Excuse of Sinners their Condemnation,"* 
we should suppose that many ideas in that sermon bad been sug 
gested by this document. The design of Emmons is to show, first 
" What God does not require of sinners which he has not given 
them ; " secondly, " What he does require of them which he has not 
given them ; " and thirdly, " That they have no reason to complain of 
his requiring that of them which he has not given them." There is 
certainly a singular coincidence here, between the thoughts of Em- 
mons and those of Dr. Hopkins. 

Our author's tenacity of purpose guided him in fashioning his 
theological system, in adjusting its proportions, and regulating the 
prominence of its different parts. He contended most stoutly for 
those articles which were most vehemently opposed. As men ob- 
jected less to his doctrine of human freedom than to his doctrine of 
the eternal decrees, he published less on the former trutli than on 
the latter. Through his whole life he taught, that " this sin which 

* EoimoDs's Works, vol. vi. pp. 85, seq. 

176 MEMOIR. 

takes place in the posterity of Adam, is not properly distinguished 
into original and actual sin, because it is all really actual, and there 
is, strictly speaking, no other sin but actual sin ; " * still, he did not 
introduce this doctrine into his works, so often as he introduced the 
doctrine of God's agency in producing moral evil. Wliy not 1 Prob- 
ably because the former doctrine was not gainsaid by many of his 
readers. This seems to have been a chief reason, why the propor- 
tions of his system differ, somewhat, from those which we find in 
some other Hopkinsian works. In other circumstances, he might 
have varied the relative position of his doctrines. He was not ready 
to yield any thing which he deemed true and important. There is 
something great in his faithfidness to himself. We honor him for 
his firmness, amid adversaries. When reading some of his very latest 
epistles, we admire his adhesion to the creed of his earlier days. It 
was not the obstinacy of a bigot, but the constancy of a Christian 
student. It reminds us of his pertinacity in the physical habits of 
his youth. " Dr. Hopkins told me," writes one of his admirers, 
" that in early life he was very sprightly, and could put his hands on 
a five-rail fence and throw his feet over with ease, and that in his 
old age he tried to perform the same manoeuvre, but failed, falling 
his whole length on the ground." He never gave up, unless he were 
obliged to do so by Providence. " Justus propositi te?iax" is his 
fitting designation. 

The tenacity of purpose for which this good man was so eminent, 
did not always prevent his yielding his own judgment to the advice 
of his friends, on matters of secondary importance. Thus we are 
told by Dr. Patten, that Hopkins was inclined to publish in his 
" System" a certain section on the " agency of God in the existence 
of sin ; " but was induced to omit it by the counsel of men whom he 
valued. He afterwards regretted that he had complied with their 
advice ; but he abandoned no important principle in tlie com- 
pliance, t 

Our author's love of free, rational, and biblical inquiry, had an 
influence on his doctrinal faith. We may say of him what he says 

* Hopkins's Works, vol. i. p. 224. 

t See Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 142, seq. That omitted section is now lost. It 
is well known, that on the subject of the divine agency in producing' moral evil, 
Hopkins did not exactly agree with Drs. Emmons and Samuel Spring. He was not 
quite willing to say, that God's agency in regard to our wrong doing is as immediate 
and direct, as his agency in regard to our right doing. When Dr. Emmons read to 
Hopkins the manuscript of the celebrated sermon, entitled " 3Ian's Activity and De- 
pendence Illustrated and Reconciled,"' Hopkins did not positively disapprove of it. but 
advised him to read it to Dr. West before publishing it. Emmons read it to West, 
who coincided with it, and it was published. On this point, Hopkins remained unwilling 
to say so much as Emmons, although on other points of the subject he said more. 
Several friends of Hopkins assert, that in his later years he looked upon Dr. Emmons 
as the ablest theologian of New England. 

MEMOIR. 177 

of President Edwards : " He took his religious principles from the 
Bible, and not from any human system or body of divinity. Though 
his principles were Calvinistic, yet he called no man father. He 
thought and judged for himself, and was truly very much of an 
original. " * Hopkins has been called a metaphysician ; but one 
great object of his life was, to break down a system of false meta- 
physics, which interferes with the plain meaning of the written word. 
He was not perfect, but he bowed before the revelation of God. His 
reverence for the Creator made him independent of creatures. Many 
Eurojjean theologians have been slaves to each other ; but what had 
tlie minister of Great Barrington to fear from foreign prescription ? 
Oxford could not overawe him. No oecumenical council could 
reach him. In many respects, it ^^as well for liim that he was re- 
tired with Edwards, in the forests of Berkshire. He studied more 
profoundly and more freely aj; the base of Monument Mountain, than 
he would have done amid the fashions of a court. He was a Con- 
gregational minister in the 'New World ; and therefore, if true to 
his calling and position, lie must have examined the truth for himself. 
He derived from Congregationahsm one of its chief blessings, — an 
impulse as well as a liberty to believe according to evidence, rather 
than according to prescription. 

Of course, he was accused, as an independent thinker is apt to 
he accused, of all kinds of heresies. Once, when charged with 
adopting Arminian interpretations of the Bible, he replies in his 
sturdy way : "It does not fright me at all, to be told that Arminians 
understand this text as I do. For who would not much rather join 
with the grossest Arminians, so far as they are right, than with the 
most orthodox Calvinists, wherein they are wrong 1 " t When tired 
of hearing the stale charge that he had started new doctrines into 
life, he responds: "I now declare, I had much rather publish New 
Jjiinimty than any other. And the more of this the better, — if it 
be but true. Nor do I think any doctrine can be ' too strange to 
be true.' I should think it hardly wortli while to write, if I had 
notliing niio to say." | In his " Animadversions on Mr. Hart's late 
Dialogue," Hopkins alludes to his having been falsely accused of 
propounding new theories, and replies : " Tliis he [Mr. Hart] has 
over and over again, above a dozen times. He calls them ' new 
doctrines,' ' new orthodoxy,' ' a new scheme,' ' new notions,' ' a 
new system or rather chaos of divinity,' ' upstart errors,' &c. And 
the teachers of them he calls ' new apostles,' ' new divines,' ' new 
teachers,' &c. — If this were true, I see not what reason there would 
be to make such a great outcry about it. This is really no evidence 
against those doctrines. It is at least possible, that there is some 
truth contained in the Bible, which has not been commonly taught ; 

• Memoir of Edwards, p. 44. f Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. p. 393. X lb. p. 315. 



yea, has never been mentioned by any writer since the apostles ; and 
whenever that shall be discovered and brought out, it will be new. 
And who knows but that some such ncic discoveries may be made in 
our day 1 If so, unhappy and very guilty will be the man who shall 
attempt to fright people, and raise their prejudices against it, by 
raising the cry of New Divinity. Indeed, I question whether an au- 
thor can, with a right temper and view, take this method to run any 
doctrine down, by appealing to the prejudices of people, and keeping 
up a constant, loud cry of mw, upstart divinity." * 

So far does Hopkins indulge his independent spirit, that often 
when he quotes other writers, even Edwards himself, he disclaims all 
intention to quote them as establishing the truth of his positions, and 
he says in one passage : " I hope I never shall be guilty of referring 
to any uninspired man as an authority. When I mentioned a sense 
which others put upon this text, I referred to the Doctor [Doddridge] 
as one of them, not as any evidence that this was the right sense ; 
but that it was in fact so understood by some, as I asserted." t We 
must concede that, here and there, our author adopts a style too in- 
tense and unqualified, | in asserting the duty of free thought. When 
reprimanded for controverting some of the fathers, the intrepid man 
replied, in language more nervous and cogent than some would 
tliink him capable of using : 

" If it could serve any good purpose, I might say, that as great a number 
of divines, as old or elder than they, and as famous for piety and learning, 
might be mentioned, who are on our side of the question. And we might 
proceed to set fatlier against father, and try who shall get the most on his 
side. But this is in truth nothing to the purpose. The opinion of the most 
venerable and renowned fathers in this case, in determining what doctrines are 
true, and what are not so, ought not to have the least weight. And it is fool- 
ish, and even carries a degree of impiety in it, for us, who have the Bible in 
our hands, to lay the weight of a straw on the opinion of the wisest and best 
men that ever lived. I am sorry to have any occasion to make this observa- 
tion at this time of day, among Protestants. It is very weak and ridiculous, 
if not something worse, for a divine to attempt to support or confirm any doc- 
trine by appealing to the judgment and decision of any man ; or to run down 
and reject any tenet that is advanced, merely because it is a 7iew doctrine, or 
embraced by few, and is contrary to the opinion of the fathers, and what has 
been established by common consent. Since people in general are too apt to 
be influenced by this, and it is common for every one to have his father, on 
whose sleeves he pins his faith in a great measure, without examining for 
himself, it is pity they should be upheld and confirmed in it by public teach- 
ers, when it is of such importance that they should by all possible means be 
beat off from this sandy foundation, and learn to judge for themselves by ' rea- 
soning out of the Scriptures,' and ' searching them daily, to see if these things 
are so.' " § 

** See p. 9 of the Animadversions. 

t Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. p. 387. 

I It has been already asserted, (see pp. 29, 30, above,) that our author, stable as he 
was, often indulged himself in a style of writing too unqualified. He trusted, that the 
good sense of his readers would suggest at once the needed limitations. 

$ Hopkins's Two Discourses on Law and Regeneration, Works, vol. iii. pp. 564, 665. 

MEMOIR. 179 

Averse as Dr. Channing was to the spirit and genius of Hopkin- 
sianism, he yet never accuses Hopkins himself of a Wind adherence to 
human creeds, of a slavish and bigoted subjection to any uninspired 
men. He rather commends the Rhode Island patriarch for the oppo- 
site virtues, and considers them as exerting an influence upon his 
theological system. He says, in language needing qualification : 

"His [Hopkins's] name is, indeed, associated with a stern and appalling 
theology, and it is true that he wanted toleration toward those who rejected 
his views. Still, in forming his religious opinions, he was superior to human 
authority ; he broke away from human creeds ; he interpreted God's word for 
himself; he revered reason, the oracle of God within him." 

"... From such a man, a tame acquiescence in the established theology 
was not to be expected. He, indeed, accepted the doctrine of predestination 
in its severest form ; but in so doing, he imagined himself a disciple of reason 
as well as of revelation. He believed this doctrine to be sustained by pro- 
found metaphysical argumentation, and to rest on the only sound philosophy 
of the human mind ; so that in receiving it, lie did not abandon the ground 
of reason. In accordance with his free spirit of inquiry, we lind him making 
not a few important modifications of Calvinism. The doctrine that we are 
liable to punishment for the sin of our first parent, he wholly rejected ; and 
not satisfied with denying the imputation of Adam's guilt to his posterity, he 
subverted what the old theology had set forth as the only foundation of divine 
acceptance ; namely, the imputation of Christ's rigliteousnoss or merits to the 
believer. The doctrine that Christ died for the elect only, found no mercy at 
his hands. He taught that Christ suffered equally for all mankind. The 
system of Dr. Hopkins was, indeed, an effort of reason to reconcile Calvinism 
with its essential truths. Accordingly, his disciples were sometimes called, 
and willingly called, Rational Calvinists. The impression which he made 
was mnch greater than is now supposed. The churches of New England 
received a decided impression from his vie^rs ; and though his name — once 
given to his followers — is no longer borne, his influence is still felt. The 
conflict now going on in our country, for the purpose of mitigating the harsh 
features of Calvinism, is a stage of the revolutionary movement to which he, 
more than any man, gave impulse, /can certainly bear witness to the spirit 
of progress and free inquiry which possessed him. In my youth, I preached 
in this house at the request of the venerable old man.* As soon as the ser- 
vices were closed, he turned to me with an animated, benignant smile, and 
using a quaintness of expression which I need not repeat, said to me, that 
theology was still imperfect, and that he hoped I should live to carry it 
towards perfection. Rare and most honorable liberality in the leader of a 
sect ! He wanted not to secure a follower, but to impel a young mind to 
higher truth. I feel that ability has not been given me to accomplish this 
generous hope; but such quickening language from such lips, though it 
could not give strength, miglit kindle desire and elevate exertion." f 

The quaint expression which Dr. Channing did not repeat in the 
preceding extract, he has repeated in anotlier document. It is an 
expression illustrating the opinion which Hopkins, as well as Bel- 
lamy and Edwards, entertained, with regard to what the younger 
Edwards terms " improvements in theology." Dr. Channing writes 
of Hopkins, in a more familiar paper : 

• Dr. Channing w&s ordained at Boston, in the very year of Hopkins's death, 
t Channing's Works, vol. iv. pp. 342, 343, 34^. 

180 MEMOIR. 

" I preached for him once ; and after the service in the pulpit, he smiled on 
me, and said, ' The hat is not made yet.' On my asking an explanation, he 
told me that Dr. Bellamy used to speak of theolonry as a progressive science, 
and compare the different stages of it to the successive processes of inakrns; 
a hat. The beaver was to be born, then to be killed, and then tlie felt to be 
made, &c. Having thus explained the similitude, he added, ' The hat is not 
made, and I hope you will help to finish it.' " * 

It has been said, that for a man like Hopkins to cherish the love 
of progress in a youth like Channing, is of dangerous tendency. But 
real progress will always lead into the truth. All movement toward 
error is retrograde, and where the allowance of independent thought 
has made one Unitarian, the repression of it has made ten infidels. 
Attempts to fetter the human mind have maddened it, until it has burst 
through all restraint into scepticism or atheism. Channing was a 
youth of meditative and even ascetic habits. He admired Hopkins, 
but he cherished a still higher reverence for Stiles. There is no 
more evidence of his having been led into Socinianism by the inde- 
pendence of Hopkins, his neighbor, than by the eminent Catholicism 
of Stiles, his former pastor ; nor can he be more justly said to have 
been repulsed into Unitarianism by the stern features of Hopkins's new 
divinity, than by the rigid expression of Stiles's old divinity. If the 
charge had not been so often repeated, we should not deign to notice 
it ; but if it be honorable to ascribe the career of Channing to the 
fact of his having been trained amid Hopkinsian influences, it would 
be equally honorable to ascribe the career of Buckminster to the fact 
of his having been trained under Calvinistic and anti-Hopkinsian in- 
fluences. All such charges are idle, unless they be proved. 

It is not wonderful, that so dauntless an inquirer as Hopkins should 
have awakened the fears of less manly thinkers. His antagonist, 
Mills, who reprimanded him for so many things, once expressed the 
grief of " many worthy fathers in the ministry, whose praise is in 
the gospel through the churches, and who are not so far superan- 
nuated, but that, with good old Eli, they tremble for fear of the ark, 
when they see it in danger of a wrong touch from the vigor and 
sprightliness of younger years." In our times it is unusual to char- 
acterize Hopkins as a sprightly author, but he replied to this repri- 
mand of Mr. Mills with a Hopkinsian vigor : «' Who these worthy, 
aged, tremhling fathers are," he remarks, " I know not, and have no 
inclination to detract from their praise. But I think I have a right 
to say, they fear where no fear is ,' and if they tremble, and handle the 
ark as Mr. Mills has done, no thanks are due to them, that it has 
not been completely overset long ago."t 

But while our author was a champion for untrammelled thought, 
he was peculiarly deferential to the decisions of the inspired word. 

* LeUer of February 14, 1340. f Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. p. 417. 

MEMOIR. 181 

Independent as he was, he aimed to sink all human metaphysics be- 
neath the Scriptures ; to have no other than a biblical philosophy. 
He went beyond the divines of his day, in deriving his science from 
the sacred volume. His doctrines will be misunderstood by men 
who do not appreciate his marked reverence for the letter, as well as 
the spirit of the Bible. 

There are different opinions on the question, whether a system of 
divinity should be expressed in the language of the inspired penmen, 
or whether it should exhibit the biblical ideas in a more modern and 
occidental form. But whatever may be our own mode of answering 
this question, we must admire the masculine genius of him who com- 
bines the greatest freedom of inquiry, and the purest love of rational 
investigation, with an humble deference to the meaning and also to 
the phraseology of the sacred writers. Even if men disapprove of 
his judgment, they must commend the reverential spirit which led 
our author to adopt the phrases, as well as the ideas, which he 
deemed to be scriptural. He exposed himself to much obloquy, by 
adhering to the forms of utterance which he found in the bold ap- 
peals of inspired men. He felt himself justified in asserting, because 
the Bible asserts, that " the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh," 
*' and the heart of his servants," and " moved David to say. Go, 
number Israel ; " and he "put a lying spirit in the mouth of" the 
prophets, and " hath poured out upon men the spirit of a deep sleep," 
etc., etc., etc. He might have avoided many censures, if he had 
couched his ideas in other phrases. But no. " The Bible says it, 
— therefore I say it," was the ceaseless language of his heart. He 
would yield to no objections against the words of holy men, who 
spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. Did Samuel Hop- 
kins aim to exalt his logic above inspiration ? It is not too much 
to affirm, that no divines before his day could express their faith in 
the precise words of the Bible, so thoroughly and minutely as he. 
This gave to his system its excellence, in his own lowly view. 
Throughout his .Tournal we are every where meeting such nervous 
comments as the following, from this admirer of a biblical creed: 

"•And whom he will, he hardenetli.' Saint Paul here has refer- 
ence to God's hardening the heart of Pharaoh, and does not soften 
the expressions used respecting the hardening his heart, in the least. 
The softeners of our day would not speak so. They would say, 
' Whom he will, he permits or suffers to harden themselves.* We 
may hence infer, that they do not think and feel respecting this 
matter as Paul did." See also Hopkins's Works, vol. i. pp. Ill- 
ISO, new edition. 

The modesty of our divme had an obvious effect upon his theo- 
logical speculations. He cherished a natire lowliness, which was 


182 MEMOIR. 

beautified by divine grace into a Christian humility. His Journal, 
already quoted, discloses the depth of his penitence. This humble- 
ness of mind gave both impulse and guidance to his love of progress. 
Feeling that he knew but little, he longed to know more. He was 
not ashamed to learn. He remembered, that the temple of sacred 
science is entered by those only who bow low at its portals. His 
self-abasement was the secret of his success. It regulated his inde- 
pendence of mind. It led him to revere the authors whom he would 
not adore. Few men have cherished a deeper veneration than he 
for Calvin and the reformed divines. This veneration prompted 
him to examine their writings with rare diligence. He did not love 
to differ from them. He never aspired to be the leader of a sect. 
He did not vaunt over his discoveries, but was pleased whenever he 
ascertained that they had been anticipated by other writers. His 
humble claim was, that from the contradictory statements of Cal- 
vinistic standards, he had collated those which were consistent with 
each other, and had reduced them to a scheme, every part of which 
had by itself been explicitly or implicitly sanctioned by some Cal- 
vinist, but the whole of which had been consistently defended by 
no one. In his eightieth year, he addressed the following lowly reply 
to an epistle from Mr. Miller, and disclosed in it how little he had 
been influenced in his speculations l^y a desire for notoriety, or any 
censurable love of novelty. 

"Newport, January 23, 1801. Reverend Sir: Yours of December 16 came 
to hand on the twelfth instant. The most proper and satisfactory answer to 
your questions, perhaps, will he, to refer you to my publications ; the first of 
which was printed near half a century ago. You may, in them, see what doc- 
trines I hold, and be able to judge wherein and how far I differ from those Cal- 
vinistic divines who have written before me. I believe that most of the doc- 
trines, if not all, I have published, arc to be found in the writings of former 
divines ; viz., Calvin, Van Mastricht, Saurin, Boston, Manton, Goodwin, Ow- 
en, Bates, Baxter, Chamock, the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, Wil- 
lard, Ridgley, Shepard, Hooker, &.c. These indeed did not fully explain 
some of those doctrines, which are asserted or implied in their writings ; and 
many, if not most of them, are in some instances inconsistent with themselves, 
by advancing contrary doctrines. 

" If I am in any measure an original in any thing I have written, it is in as- 
serting, that the. unregenerate, under the greatest convictions, and in all their 
external reformations and doings, are more criminal and guilty than they were 
in a state of security, and really do no duty ; (all their moral actions are sin ; 
this is necessarily implied in the doctrine of total depravity, which all Calvin- 
ists hold :) and that all true holiness consists in disinterested benevolence, and 
those affections which are implied in it ; and that all that self-love Avhich is 
not implied in disinterested benevolence, is sinful, and that in Avhich all sin 
essentially and radically consists ; that the original threatening, ' Thou shalt 
surely die,' does not mean or imply a separation between soul and body, but 
the destruction and misery of soul and body in hell forever, which is in Scrip- 
ture called the second death, which the finally impenitent will suffer. 

" But it is really no great matter who first advanced a doctrine ; if it be 
agreeable to Scripture, it ought to be received ; if not, let it be rejected. 

MEMOIR. 183 

"No scheme of doctrines has got the name o^ , Hopkintonian by my 
consent or invention, or desire of any of my friends. This was the invention 
of the late Rev. William Hart, of Saybrook, who published some remarks on 
what Mr. Edwards, Dr. Bellamy, and I had written, to which I replied, and 
the controversy perhaps was too personal. He was, to be sure, irritated ; and 
wrote a pamphlet in which he mentioned a number of doctrines as mine, and 
set them in as bad a light as he could, by way of reproach ; and to fasten an 
odium upon me and them, he gave them the name of Hopkintonian doctrines. 
This epithet has been since used both by friends and enemies. The latter 
and many others have, in many instances, used the term as carrying an odium 
with it, while they do not know what are the doctrines implied in it. — I am 
your friend and servant, S. H." 

This letter modestly reconciles the contradictions which have so 
often been imputed to the Newport divine. " He claimed to be a 
disciple of Calvin," it is said, " and yet spent much of his life in 
contending against the Calvinists. He pretended to have made im- 
provements in theology, and yet avows that all his improvements 
were known before liis day. The same system, and yet an amended 
system ! How can a man make advances, and still keep pace with 
those whom he has outrun 1 " It is very true that our modest divine 
regarded his theological scheme as consistent Calvinism, and yet as 
differing somewhat in its proportions, and in its sequences, from the 
prevalent Calvinism of the schools. It excluded some parts, which 
were repellent to other parts of the prevailing system. It carried 
the Genevan principles to their logical results. Hopkins was origi- 
nal in his combinations of old ideas. He used established truths in 
a new way. Here and there, this writer and that writer had sug- 
gested all which Hopkins taught ; but he united their suggestions into 
a system which was new in its harmonies and completeness, ft were 
easy to corroborate all of our author's peculiar doctrines, by quota- 
tions from the Reformed divines. He was wont to make these 
references in his own defence. His originality, then, lay in his 
eclecticism and in his logical inferences. He chose to regard Hop- 
kinsianism as a statue found in an ancient block of marble. His own 
estimate of the relation between his conclusions and the premises 
which he had learned from Calvin, was expressed by his energetic 
pupil, Samuel Spring, in words which the " Hopkinsian Calvinists " 
have loved to quote : " It is evident," says Dr. Spring, " that Hop- 
kinsian sentiments are only the genuine, flourishing, and fruitful 
branches of the Calvinistic tree. For we plead that there is no duty 
in the actions of sinners, because they are totally depraved. As total 
depravity, therefore, is the great pillar in tlie Calvinistic theory, 
there is no more difference between Calvinists and Hopkinsians, than 
there is between a tree and its branches, or between first principles 
and consequences. The broad foundation which supports our ample 
superstructure, was long since deeply and most firmly laid in the first 
principles of Calvinism. To support my theory, I need no first 

184 MEMOIR. 

principles, except those which Calvinists have adopted and improved 
against Pelagians and Arminians." * 

Our author's confidence in the extent of divine truth influenced 
his theological inquiries. If all his writings had perished, the fruits 
of this confidence would still remain. It waked up the energies of 
men who " were giants in those days." The great success of Hop- 
kins was in the spirit, more than in the letter of his teachings. His 
mind was fixed on God, and he did not believe it possible for any 
single generation to exhaust the science of the Infinite One. He 
looked with far deeper reverence upon the boundlessness of God's 
truth, than upon the faithfulness of scholars in their past explorations 
of it. " Men are a long time finding out," he says in his Journal, 
" what is in the natural world. This volume of science has been 
open to men in all ages. But new things are found out and seen in 
one age after another, which before lay hid, not discerned. And 
there is reason to think, there will be yet greater discoveries of things 
contained in this volume of nature, by the search and experience of in- 
quisitive men, which have never yet been thought of. And why may 
not this be equally true of the volume of the moral world, the volume 
of divine revelation 1 Many things, many truths, may be contained 
in it, which have not yet been discovered ; but remain to be found 
out by inquisitive men, who will rise hereafter." 

Such hopeful passages enliven both his letters and his diary. The 
spirit of them prompted his own mind, and the minds of his pupils, 
to an unremitted study of the divine perfections. He favored all 
possible modes of penetrating into the truth; and his school have 
always been noted for sharp and severe investigation. He has been 
condemned for his metaphysics ; and yet few divines have done more 
than he, in destroying the credit of that false metaphysics which has 
loaded the faith of men with cumbrous inventions. He believed that 
metaphysical science is susceptible of expansion. He has been 
censured for exciting a love of theological inquiry. The investi- 
gating habit does not result in unniingled good. But in the end, 
truth is better learned and more deeply felt, where the curiosity is 
cherished, than where it is repressed. There was far more of sound 
orthodoxy in New England when Hopkins closed his labors, than 
when he began them. The history of the future will record, that 
he has raised the tone of religious doctrine throughout the land. 
He has done this, not so much by his rhetoric or his logic, as by his 
spirit of hopeful study. This spirit has incited men to investigation. 
This investigation has led men into the truth. The boundaries of 
truth are enlarged by the fit indulgence of an inquisitive temper. 

* See Spring's Disquisitions, pp.44, 45, second edition. See the same passage quot- 
ed with approbation by Emmons in his paper on Hopkinsianism, published in Miss Han- 
nah Adams's View of Religions, p. 130, third edition. 

MEMOIR. 185 

The inquisitiveness of Hopkins was proverbial. Had it been less 
eager, there would have been, during his life, less complaint of his 
novel speculations, but more distrust of the Bible, a narrower view 
of its teachings. Infidelity is the ultimate result of checking the 
desire for expanded knowledge. " There is nothing," says Dr. Ar- 
nold, " so revolutionary, because there is nothing so unnatural and 
so convulsive to society, as the strain to keep things fixed, when all 
the world is, by the very law of its creation, in eternal progress ; 
and the cause of all the evils of the world may be traced to that 
natural but most deadly error of human indolence and corruption, 
that our business is to preserve and not to improve. It is the ruin 
of us all alike, individuals, schools, and nations." * 

Our author's comprehensiveness of mind gave a peculiar character 
to his theological system. That capacious frontal development 
which marked his figure, indicated the type of his theology. As his 
personal qualities, his sternness and mildness for instance, have been 
thought to be incompatible with each other, so his creed, because so 
comprehensive, has been deemed self-contradictory. His great aim, 
however, was to form a self-consistent scheme. He disliked hetero- 
geneous and fragmentary thoughts. Dr. Ashbel Green says of him :t 
" He is certainly a man of a subtle and discriminating mind. He is 
indeed more calculated for minute inquiries, than for comprehensive 
views. His mental optics seemed [seem ?] formed to see small objects 
distinctly, but are unable to survey large ones. He sees parts, but not 
the whole. His love of distinguishing sometimes leads him to make 
distinctions where there are no difterences. He separates, in rea- 
soning, things which are never separated in fact." This portraiture 
of Dr. Hopkins is exactly the reverse of the truth. He was less 
remarkable for acuteness than for comprehensiveness of intellect 
His analysis was less accurate than his generalization was exten- 
sive. His mind loved to expatiate on the vast and illimitable. His 
theology is, what it ought to be, the science of the great God; — the 
decrees, the sovereignty, the universal government of God, — above 
all, the infinite love of God in Christ. We take up his volumes with 
awe, for we know that they will present thoughts of vast compass. 
They will develop the religious sentiment which loves to enthrone 
Jehovah, and abase the creature. But with all his fondness for ex- 
alting the claims of God, our comprehensive divine unites an amiable 
desire to maintain the free agency of man. He brings together, in 
one extensive scheme, the fixed certainty of all events, and such a 
hberty of the human will as leads him often to say, that sinners " are 
under no inability, but what consists in their inexcusable, voluntary 

* Life and Correspondence of Thomas Arnold, D. D., p. 173, first Am. ed. 
t Memoir, p. 240. 



wickedness ; " and that the unregenerate sinner " is under no kind 
of inability or diflSculty that is in the way of his turning to God im- 
mediately, which the open profligate is not under, as a bar in the 
way of his reforming his wicked conduct immediately."* Our 
author's theology was offensive to unrenewed men, because it held 
before them the sovereign dominion of the Creator on the one hand, 
and the doctrine of our natural ability on the other. The combi- 
nation of these two truths has a rare power over the heart. Men 
dislike to hear, that the only reason why they do not submit to the 
sovereignty of Jehovah is, their own vile choice. They love to hear, 
that they are naturally unable to do what the law is said to require. 
This is a pillow for their sweetest sleep. Hopkins irritated them by 
taking the pillow away. " For," he says in his decisive style, " this 
doctrine of man's inability, as consisting in some difficulty in the way 
of holiness, which is independent of the will, and for which they are 
not wholly to blame, is as agreeable to the corrupt heart of man, as 
any Arminian or Pelagian doctrine whatsoever can be. How many 
of those who are called Calvinists have fled to this refuge of lies, and 
here are like to perish, God knows ! " t And because our author 
was wont to speak thus, is he to be called an Arminian or a Pela- 
gian ? One great use of his writings is, to show, that the doctrine 
of man's entire freedom may be combined with that of his entire and 
certain sinfulness. The man who rejects either of these truths, 
merely for the sake of holding the other, is contracted, one-sided. 
It is because Hopkins was large-minded and large-hearted, that he 
held together what less capacious minds are tempted to put asunder. 
He asserted in the boldest terms, that God is the original Cause 
producing the certainty of sin ; but he combined this assertion with 
another, that man is under no natural inability to be holy. He did 
not teach, that God produces wickedness in any such sense as im- 
plies that men are forced or compelled to be wicked ; nor did he 
teach that men have natural power to be holy, in any such sense as 
implies that their sin is not made certain by the providence of God. 
We may not think that all his language and illustrations are wisely 
chosen for a scientific treatise, I but the substance of his teachings on 
these themes is neither more nor less than this : God so makes and 
preserves, and circumstances men, that the unregenerate do uni- 
formly and certainly sin ; their sin is made certain by the efficiency of 
Him who predestinated their whole moral course ; § but yet they are 

* Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. p. 296, 

t lb. p. 299. — A fundamental idea of our author's system is, that all our inability to 
obey the law is itself wickedness, and not (he mere occasion of wickedness. See, for 
one expression of it, his System, vol. i. pp. 235, 509, 510. 

X See pp. 29, 30, of this Memoir. 

§ Hopkins asserts and proves, often, that his theory of the divine agency in sin is the 
same which is taught by the Westminster Assembly 5 see Hopkins's Works, new edi- 
Uon, vol. i. pp. 106-110. 

MEMOIR. 187 

as free as moral agents can be ; their inability is the certainty of 
their sin, and their certain sin is their free choice. One of these 
doctrines explains the other. One of them prevents fatalism ; the 
other excludes a " liberty of indifference " wliich is uncontrollable by 
the Deity. In their reciprocal bearings upon each other, both of 
these doctrines combined make out the truth to wliich our compre- 
hensive theologian devoted a large part of his life. Future genera- 
tions will honor him, for having so asserted our natural power to do 
our duty, as to render it preposterous for men to brand this dogma 
with Pelagianism. His rare merit is, that he has defended not one 
truth alone, but many truths ; and has proved that the divine and 
human action are harmoniously blended. He stands out as a prom- 
ontory in the sea, around which and against which the waves of 
theological misrepresentation break and foam without avail. If the 
assertion of man's abiUty commensurate with his duty, be Pelagi- 
anism, then Hopkins was a Pelagian, — and the very sound of this 
last clause refutes it. If the assertion that God causes the certainty 
of all acts, be fatalism, then fatalism is consistent with the doctrine 
so often avowed by Hopkins, that " the creature acts as freely as if 
there were no agent concerned but himself, and his exercises are as 
virtuous and holy, and it is as really and as much his own virtue and 
holiness, and he is as excellent and praiseworthy, as if he did not 
depend on divine influences for these exercises, and they were not 
the effect of the operation of God." * 


" I have thrown together these recollections of a man, who has 
been crowded out of men's minds by the thronging events and in- 
terests of our time, but who must always fill an important place in 
our ecclesiastical history." So writes one t who had a decided aver- 
sion to the creed of Hopkins, but knew the historical value of his 
• writings. Had they no other merit, they would deserve to be 
studied for the instruction which they impart with regard to our 
Dogmatic History. No man can rightly appreciate the theology of 
New England, either in its progress or in its present condition, with- 
out understanding the works of this veteran divine. That these 
works are free from every mistake, the most zealous admirer of 
them will not pretend. They combine, however, in a more than usual 
degree, the vigor of a theological pioneer, with the accuracy of a 
critical philosopher. They could not have accomphshed their pre- 
destined good, unless they had been strong, positive, aggressive ; and 

* Works, new edition, vol. i. p. 139. 

t Dr. Channing^, in his Works, vol. iv. p. 352. 



if they have these excellences, can we expect them to possess also 
the gentle and mellowed character of treatises composed in pacific 
times 1 They broke up the green-sward. They levelled the uneven 
places. They encountered a rough opposition. They subdued many 
an obstacle. It were strange if, in this stern contest with difficulties, 
they had preserved themselves immaculate. Equally strange were 
it, if they had not exerted so much influence over our New England 
theology, as to become a pait of our theological history. In this 
respect, they will always retain an interest for one who aims to be 
an accomplislied divine. It is important, then, for tlie historian, as 
well as the theologian, to know the circumstances in which our 
author performed his theological labors. Therefore, let us now 
glance at the cliaracter, object, and influence, of his various writings. 

A. Discourses on Sin. 

We have already seen,* that about the time of President Ed- 
wards's dismissal from Stockbridge,- Hopkins was engaged in a 
singular controversy with a parishioner at Great Barrington, in re- 
gard to the divine purposes respecting sin. In a twelvemonth after 
the close of that dispute, and in the thirty-eighth year of his age, our 
author published a pamphlet of eighty pages, entitled : 

"Sin, through Divine Interposition, an Advantage to the Universe, and 
yet this no Excuse for Sin or Encouragement to it ; Illustrated and Proved : 
and God's Wisdom and Holiness in the Permission of Sin, and that his Will 
herein is the same with his Revealed Will, Shown and Confirmed : in Three 
Sermons, from Rom. iii. 5, 6, 7, 8. By Samuel Hopkins, A. M., a Minister 
of the Gospel at Sheffield, 1759." 

These Three Sermons were reprinted at Boston, in 1773, " by J. 
Kneeland, next to the Treasurer's Office in Milk Street." They 
were also rejjublishcd, about the same time, in Edinburgh, Scotland. 
The title of the sermons was, as their author narrates in 1796, " so 
shocking to many, that they would read no farther. And many who 
read the sermons, were far from falling in with the sentiment ad- 
vanced. But few had studied the point, and it was a new doctrine 
to many. Yet no one undertook publicly to confute it. And many 
who read the sermons were convinced of the truth exhibited in them ; 
and thought the reasoning from Scripture to be unanswerable, and 
the sentiments which were advanced to be important and usefuL 
And this conviction has been spreading from that time to this ; and 
the most who are serious and attentive, whether ministers or others, 
approve of this publication, so far as I can judge. And light on this 
subject has been, and still is increasing." t 

These sermons are of some historical importance. They show, 

* On pp. 68, 69, of this Memoir. t Sketches; p. 93. 


iu the first place, that the sentiments of Dr. Hopkins were suggested 
by his religious feelings. One of his young children was very sick, 
and was not expected to live more than a few hours. He had pro- 
vided a faithful and trustworthy nurse for it ; physicians had exhausted 
their skill upon it ; and at night, when the father could do no more, 
he retired to his study, and consoled himself with the thought, that 
all the evils of the world would be overruled for good. Rather 
than look on the suffering child, and pour out liis unavailing regrets, 
he chose to meditate on the holy purpose of God, in exposing chil- 
dren and adults to sin and pain. These meditations he afterwards 
incorporated into the three discourses, by which he first attracted 
tlie public attention to himself as a theological author. He wrote, 
not under the influence of a merely metaphysical theory, but from 
the impulses of a heart panting for solace from the afflictions which 
result from sin. 

In the second place, these discourses prove, that the first oppo- 
sition which Hopkins, as an author, encountered from liis brethren, 
arose from the Calvinistic features of his theology. He advanced 
notliing peculiarly severe on the doctrine of sin overruled for good. 
The Calvinistic standards abound with expressions far more unpopu- 
lar, than those contained in these sermons. Hopkins was not dis- 
tinguished from Edwards and Bellamy in the censures which were 
heaped upon him ; but the well-known triumvirate were universally 
regarded as contending for the same doctrine on this, as on other 
topics. " So much of late," said an ingenious author of that day, 
" has been written to persuade us that the existence of all the wick- 
edness of men and devils is agreeable to God's will, necessary to his 
glory, and for the benefit of the universe, that I found, by reading 

such [writers] as E s, H s, B y, and I know not whom, 

my abhorrence of sin did much abate, and a more favorable idea of 
vice grew up insensibly in my mind ; as he who often converses 
with atheists and swearers, will find his horror and detestation of 
their language daily lessen. Yet my scruples are not quite gone ; 
but I find a strong suspicion that all they can say to beget in me a 
good opinion of sin, is a mere device of the father of lies." * This 

* See pp. 25, 26, of " A Preservative against the Doctrine of Fate," in opposition to 
Edwards on the Will. Boston, 1770. 

In a letter to Dr. Bellamy, dated July 23, 1767, Hopkins says : " Mr. Dana, of 

Wal rd, has just published two sermons, preached at Caimbridge, last May, in which 

lie has given a bold stroke at you and me, for what we have wrote on the permission 
of sin, though he has not named us." 

A few months after Hopkins had printed his Three Sermons, he sent to Bellamy a let- 
ter, which illustrates the intimacy known to exist between the two divines, and the an- 
noyances which they endured from the espionage of their common enemy. — " Yours of 
the fifth of November," says Hopkins, " I found at one of our taverns, on the twenty, 
third. It was opened, and one enclosed to Mr. Kneeland [publisher of the sermons] 
was opened also. The landlord says, he found them in his counter, on the floor, and 
who left them there neither he nor any of his family knows." — " I am much oblig-ed to 
you for your good opinion of my sermons," etc. 



is precisely the objection which has been made for centuries to the 
Calvinistic system. That system goes even so far as to assert, that 
sin is inflicted on man as his punishment. Must not a punishment 
inflicted by Jehovah be useful 1 

Thirdly, these discourses illustrate their author's reverence for 
God, and abhorrence of moral evil. Whatever men may think of 
his Calvinistic theory, that sin is an occasion without which it is im- 
possible for creatures and their Creator to secure the highest con- 
ceivable good, men must approve of his teachings that sin, as sin, is 
merely pernicious, but the Providence of God with regard to it is 
merely beneficial ; that whatever man does in violating the law tends 
in itself to evil, and nothing but evil, but that whatever God does in 
so causing the certainty of sin as to prevent its natural necessity, and 
in so counteracting its tendencies as to preclude the evil which it is 
fitted to produce, tends to the highest good which Omnipotence can 
secure ; that although sin in its own nature leads to nothing useful, 
yet the acts of God in making it certain though avoidable, and then 
in resisting its appropriate influence, do lead to more useful results 
than Omnipotence can otherwise secure ; that God could not have 
promoted the best interests of his kingdom, unless he had so planned 
the world that sin would certainly be committed ; and yet the wel- 
fare of his kingdom does not result from the moral evil viewed in 
itself, but rather from the divine plan of thwarting the moral evil. 
" In a word, 'tis not the tendency of sin, as such, that Mr. Edwards 
is here speaking of [as beneficial], but the tendency of God's per- 
mitting it, and holding it in his hands, and overruling it to answer 
his own wise and good ends by it." * 

B. Inquiry concerning the Promises of the Gospel. 

In our author's forty-fourth year, he published his first controver- 
sial volume. He ssiys of it : 

" In the year 1765, 1 published a book of one hundred and forty-five pages, 
octavo, the title of which was, ' An Inquiry concerning the Froniises of the 
Gospel : whether any of tliem are made to the Exercises and Doings of Persons 
in an unregenerate State. Containing Remarks on two Sennons published 
by Dr. Mayhew, of Boston, [entitled " Striving to enter in at the Strait Gate, 
explained and inculcated ; and the Connection of Salvation therewith, proved 
from the Holy Scripture." Also, a brief Inquiry into the use of Means ; 
showing their Necessity in order to Salvation ; and what is the true Ground 
of Encouragement for Sinners diligently to attend on them.' Published in 
Boston.] In these sermons Dr. Mayhew attempted to prove that there are 
promises to the doings of the unregenerate. In the tenth and last section of 
this book, I attempted to show what is the design and end of the use of 
means, with respect to the unregenerate, in order to their salvation ; where I 
observed, that the end was not to render the unregenerate better or less sinful 
while they continued unregenerate ; for persons while they continued to 

* See Hopkins's Appei.dix to the above-named Three Sermons. 

MEMOIR. 191 

reject the gospel, which all the unregenerate did under all the means used 
with them, and with all the light and conviction they might have, did not 
become less sinners, but greater and more guilty, whatever external reforma- 
tion might take place. Though this truth had been at least implicitly 
asserted in the writings of many Calvinists, and in their preaching, yet it had 
not been so explicitly and particularly asserted and explained by Calvinistic 
writers and preachers in general ; and many, in contradiction to M'hat they at 
other times said, and to true Calvinism, said things which implied the con- 
trary, and represented the convinced and externally reformed sinner, though 
unregenerate, and continuing to reject the gospel, as a much less sinner, and 
less guilty than the unawakened, secure sinner. Therefore, though Dr. 
Mayhew, who was not a Calvinist, made no reply to my remarks on his ser- 
mons, yet many professed Calvinists thouglit the sentiment I had advanced 
was contrary to the truth, and of very bad tendency." * 

In the fifth, seventh, and other sections of this Inquiry, our author 
first advances the doctrine, that no change of nature, antecedent to 
the change of moral act, entitles tlie subject of it to the promises of 
life ; that regeneration, if viewed as distinct from conversion, is not 
in itself an improvement of moral character ; but that moral char- 
acter lies in the exercises of the heart. He believed that there is a 
certain state of the soul, preparing the unregenerate to disobey the 
law ; that this state of the soul is in itself neither holy nor sinful, but 
that the disobedience, being active, is sinful ; that in regeneration 
the state is changed ; that the soul is passive in this change ; that 
there is in the regenerate a certain state of the soul inclining them to 
obey the law ; that this state is neither holy nor sinful, but that the 
obedience, being active, is holy ; and that this change from disobe- 
dient to obedient act, is conversion, to which alone the promises of 
the gospel are addressed. In one of the numerous papers, on which 
our author penned his theological meditations, are found the follow- 
ing statements : 

"Question I. Are infants united to Christ? If they are, how is this 
union brought about ? 

" Answer. They are not actually united to Christ, but vhiually so, if regen- 
erated. They are actually united to him as soon as they come to act, which 
takes place as the natural and necessary fruit of conversion. 

" Question II. If a doctrinal knowledge of gospel truth is necessary in order 
to conversion, how then can infants be converted ? 

" Answer. Infants are not converted: they maybe regenerated, but not con- 
verted, till they come to the knowledge of the truth." [Of course, then, Hop- 
kins believed that infants are saved in a manner differing, in one respect, 
from the manner in Avhich converted adults are saved : see p. 103 of this 

C. Reply to Mills on the Character of the Sinner^s Acts. 

The most noted peculiarity of Hopkinsianism is the doctrine, that 
sinners have no promises addressed to them as such, and they should 
not be exhorted to perform any act in the character of sinners, and 

* Sketches, pp. 93, 94, 95. 

192 MEMOIR. 

should be urged to perform, without delay, those acts only which 
involve holiness. They ought to use means, but to use them in a 
holy way. In his discussion of this topic and its correlates, Dr. Hoj> 
kins achieved his most signal victories. Speaking of the opposition 
to his criticisms on Mayhew, our author says : " Mr. Mills, of Ripton, 
in Connecticut, was greatly alarmed, and thought the doctrine I had 
published was new and strange, contrary to the Bible, and tended to 
great mischief. He therefore thought it his duty to oppose, and 
attempt to confute me, and published a book of one hundred and 
twenty-four pages against me, in the year 1767." * 

The title of Mr. Mills's work is, of itself, a small volume, charac- 
teristic of his times. It proceeds thus : 

" An Inquiry concerning the State of the Unregenerate under the Gospel ; 
whether on every rising degree of internal Light, Conviction, and Amendment 
of Life, they are (while unregenerate) undoubtedly, on the whole, more vile, 
odious, and abominable (in God's sight) than they would have been had they 
continued secure and at ease, going on in their Sins, under the same external 
Means of Light ; containing Remarks on the Tenth Section of the Reverend 
Mr. Samuel Hopkins's late Answer to Doctor Mayhew's Sermon on Striving 
to enter in at the strait Gate ; intitled ' A brief Inquiry into the Use of 
Means.' By Jedidiah Mills, Minister of the Gospel in Ripton, Stratford. 
[Published in] New Haven : Printed by B. Mecom, 1767." 

The Preface of this once noted "Inquiry" is dated November 5, 
1766. The work was published in the early part of 1767. At this 
time, there M'as a great commotion in Hopkins's parish at Great 
Barrington. The public controversy with regard to his doctrines, 
made this commotion the more ungovernable. He was dismissed 
January 18, 1769, and immediately betook himself to the refutation 
of Mr. Mills. Without a parish to sustain him, with a severe oppo- 
sition of the clergy, and a deep-seated prejudice among the churches 
against his doctrines,! >vith but little prospect of ever being able to 
secure another settlement, Mr. Hopkins was led to look upon this 
controversy, at this juncture, as peculiarly hostile to the cause of 
true religion ; and he therefore expressed his feelings with great 
decision. His subsequent comments on the spirit of his Reply are 

" In the year 1769," he says, " I published my answer to Mr. Mills of one 
hundred eighty-four pages, octavo, in a small, comprehensive type. The 

* Sketches, p. 95. 

t See p. 76 of this Memoir. The line between the old school and the new had been 
distinctly drawn, for several years. Bellamy and Hopkins were, since the death of Ed- 
wards, the stoutest living champions of the new school. There was often a struggle 
between the two parties, when a vacant pulpit was to be filled. " A certain clergyman, 
in the county of Litchfield," — writes Hopkins to Bellamy, March 18, 1766, — "I hear, 
told a ShefKeld man, that Sheffield [a destitute parish] might not get a minister udIcss 
he was in a straight line from Great Barrington to Bethlem. This being spread, some 
begin to say, ' We shall never get a minister, so long as Messrs. Bellamy and Hopkins 
are our advisers.' " 

MEMOIR. 193 

following was the title of it : ' The true State and Character of the Unregen- 
erate, stripped of all Misrepresentation and Disguise : [a Reply to Mr. Mills's 
Inquiry, etc. Printed at New Haven.'] I believe this book, with what was 
afterwards published on the same subject, was the means of spreading and 
giving much light and conviction with respect to the real character and doings 
of the unregenerate, and has in a great measure put a stop to exhorting the 
unregenerate to do duty in order to obtain regeneration, which was very 
common among preachers before that time. Some of my friends thought I 
treated Mr. Mills with too much severity, in taking pains to show how many 
self-contradictions were to bo found in his writings, and to discover his weak- 
ness, &c. ; since I, as well as others, believed lie was a good man, and had 
done much good, and the opposition he had made to me was more owing to 
his weakness and his old age, and his speculative error, than to his opposition 
of heart to the truth. And I believe there is something of this kind which 
ought, all tilings considered, to be left out, or otherwise expressed ; though I 
had no perception of it in the time of it, but thought I was conscientiously 
careful to leave out all personal reflections and every tiling which was not 
necessary in the best manner to expose error and vindicate the truth. But 
how deceitful is the heart ! Who can understand his errors ? " * 

The severity, for which the venerable author thus apologizes, and 
which is mildness itself in comparison with the style of many subse- 
quent disputes among theologians, seems to have arisen from his 
honesty. He abhorred all controversial arts, all attempts to excite 
the odium thcologicum against a divine. He was at this time suffering 
persecution in consequence of such appeals to popular prejudice. 
There is a real eloquence, in some of his indignant jjrotests against 
one common stratagem of theological disputants : 

" When I have attended," he says, " to this method Mr. Mills has taken in 
his dispute with me, and the way in which he has managed it, (which seems 
almost peculiar to himself) and how he has not only tacked Sandeman upon 
my back, and took care to keep him fast there, and held him up in siglit from 
beginning to end, but has also ranked me with Arminians and Quakers, yea, 
with the devil himself;! I say, when I have attended to this, it has brought 
to my mind the method the Roman Catholics have often taken with Protestant 
martyrs who were to be put to doatli ; that is, to place a large cap on their 
liead, ox\ which are painted a number of hideous monsters and ugly devils, on 
purpose to raise the indignation of the crowd against them. It is to be ob- 
served, however, that they do this to those only who tliey really think deserve 
such treatment, they being in their view as bad at least as the devil himself; 
whereas Mr. Mills has done all this to his ' dear brother, and ivorthy author, 
and one whom he highly esteems.'' " | 

D. Reply to HarVs Dialogue. — Epithet ^^ IlopJcinsian." 

Mr. Mills was effectually silenced by Hopkins's celebrated Reply. 
But in the latter part of 17G9, Rev. William Hart, the friend of Dr. 
Stiles, published a pamphlet of seventy-one pages, entitled, " Brief 
Remarks on a Number of False Propositions and Dangerous Errors, 

» Sketches, pp. <)5, 96. 

t Speaking of Mr. Hopkins's book, Mr. Mills says, "Nor is il in my power to doubt, 
lliat the grand enemy of Christ's cause and precious souls, puts his hearty Amen to it." 
t Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. p. 351. 


194 MEMOIR. 

which are spreading in the Country ; collected out of sundry Dis- 
courses lately published, wrote by Dr. Whitaker and Mr. Hopkins. 
Written by Way of Dialogue, by William Hart, A. M., Pastor of the 
First Church in Saybrook," [Connecticut. Printed at] New Lon- 
don, 1769. The title page bears among its mottoes, Job Ixii. 7, 8. 
This pamphlet is, as its author was, very respectable. Before Hop- 
kins replied to it, he wrote thus to Dr. West : 

" January 12, 1750. [When my Reply] is finished, I am to send it to Mr. 
Hart, of Preston, and he will get it printed, if he and Mr. Austin approve of 
it. I am sorry you and a number of others could not see it, before it goes to 
the press, (if it does go,) for I think my judicious friends might be of great 
service to me in this way ; and now believe my Reply to Mr. Mills would 
have appeared to better advantage, had you and some others spent considera- 
ble time upon it, in correcting it. The first and general complaint against 
that, I perceive, is, that I put on a haughty, supercilious air, by which I dis- 
cover the pride of my heart, — and treat good old Mr. Mills in an unmannerly, 
saucy manner, looking down upon him with contempt, &c. And some of my 
judicious friends say, (and perhaps all of them now thiiik,) it might have been 
wrote in a bettor style and manner, and without 07ie witty sarcasm, or any 
thing that should look like an ill-natured reflection, to his best friends ; but, 
on the contrary, with an air of benevolence and tenderness which especially 
becomes those who have professedly espoused the most benevolent scheme. 
They ought, above all others, to avoid every thing that looks like selfishness 
and ill nature, and [to] distinguish themselves in generous benevolence, &c. I 
have not read my reply, since I have heard the objection; but am now ready 
to think it is not wholly without grounds." 

Hopkins's Reply appeared in a pamphlet of thirty-one closely 
printed pages, with the following title : " Animadversions on Mr. 
Hart's late Dialogue ; in a Letter to a Friend. By Samuel Hop- 
kins, A. M., Minister of the Gospel." New London, 1770. It bears, 
as its motto, Acts xxiv. 14. It must be confessed, that some parts of 
this Reply are written in a more caustic style than the Dialogue of 
Mr. Hart seems to have required. There are two circumstances, 
however, which account for the severity of those passages. One is, 
that Mr. Hart's Dialogue appeared to have been written with some de- 
sign to prevent Hopkins's resettlement in the ministry, and that the 
free circulation of it in Newport did in fact excite the early revolu- 
tion of the First Church against him.* Another circumstance is, 
that soon after Mr. Hart had published his Dialogue, " there was," 
says Dr. Hopkins, " a small pamphlet published, which was doubtless 
written by the same Mr. Hart, which was written in a sarcastical 
way, without argument or reason, in which the doctrines I, and 
others who agreed with me, had published ^ere misrepresented ; 
attempting to set them in a ridiculous light. And with a particular 
design, as it appeared, to disgrace me before the public, he called 
them Hopkintonian doctrines. This is the original of this epithet. 
And since that time, all who embrace the Calvinistic doctrines which 

* See p. 76 of this Memoir. 

MEMOIR. 195 

were published by President Edwards, Dr. Bellamy, Dr. West of 
Stockbridge, and myself, have been called Hopkintonians, or Hopkin- 
sians. Thus I am become the head of a denomination, who have 
since greatly increased, and in wliich thousands are included, and a 
large number of ministers, who, I believe, are the most sound, con- 
sistent, and thorough Calvinists ; and who in general sustain as good 
a character, as to their morality, preaching, and personal religion, as 
any set of clergymen whatever, and are most popular where there 
appears to be most attention to religion ; and, at the same time, are 
most hated, opposed, and spoken against, by Arminians, Deists, and 
persons who appear to have no religion. And I believe, though this 
denomination or name originated from no such design, that it has 
proved an advantage to truth and true religion ; as it has given op- 
portunity and been the occasion of collecting those who embrace the 
scheme of Christianity exhibited in the fore-mentioned publications, 
and ranking them under one standard. It has excited the attention 
and promoted inquiry into the principles and doctrines which are 
embraced and held by those of tliis denomination, by which light and 
conviction have been spread and propagated." * 

Mr. Hopkins took no public notice of this pamphlet, which origi- 
nated the appellation "Hopkinsian ;" but liis "Animadversions" seem 
to have been tinctured by his abhorrence of its spirit. To these Ani- 
madversions Mr. Hart replied, in " A Letter to the Rev. Samuel Hop- 
kins, occasioned by his Animadversions on Mr. Hart's late Dialogue, 
in which some of his Misrepresentations of Facts and of other Things 
are corrected. By the Author of that Dialogue. ♦ He that is first in 
his own cause, seemeth just, but his neighbor cometh and searcheth 
him.' New London, 1770." IMr. Hart accuses our author again 
of " new doctrines," " new divinity," " Calvinism improved," etc. ; 
and complains of having been " treated in an injurious, unfriendly, 
and ungentlemanly manner." " Indeed, sir," he says, " you do not 
write in a good spirit." Of Mr. Hart's spirit, the following extract 
from his Rejoinder will give an illustration ; — rather more unfavor- 
able, however, tlian is the general character of his defence. The ex- 
tract proves two important facts: first, that the epithet " Hopkinsian" 
was originally applied to the New Divinity in special reference to its 
doctrine of the utter sinfulness of all acts preceding regeneration, 
and the consequent necessity of enjoining immediate repentance ; 
secondly, that Hopkinsianism was then supposed by its most in- 
telligent opponents, as well as friends, to be indissolubly connected 
with Edwardeanism. If one falls, the other was thought to fall. 
Hopkins was not fifty years old, and had not published his most im- 
portant works, when the New Theology began to be called after bis 

* * Sketches, pp. 97, 98. 



" I observe, sir," says Mr. Hart, in his letter, " you complain of injury and 
falsehood, in that I sometimes call the new doctrines Sandemanian errors. 
When you objected this to me at my house, I answered, that the new scheme 
and Sandeman's are near akin, coincident in some things, and both come to 
much the same issue. More Uian this is not pretended in the Dialogue, 
though in some particular passages I may have expressed myself too loosely. 
If your smiting was that of the righteous, I would esteem it as excellent oil. 
But, unhappily for you, you are come abroad this time, in the spirit of a Jew 
at the close of his flist. As the teachers of the new scheme of doctrine had 
not given it a new name, I was a little in doubt what name it ought to bo called 
by. Calvinism I could not call it, without misleading my readers. It appeared 
to me much nearer related to Sandeman than to Calvin ; so I sometimes loosely 
called it the Sandemanian scheme. But, since it displeases, I forbear. 
Please, sir, to give the poor stranger a proper name. It is your right to name 
your own children. If it is called after your own name, I believe nobody 
will be displeased. 

" You, sir, labor to convince your readers that I have embraced several of 
Mr. Sandeman's distinguishing doctrines, and know it not. (p. 14.) This is 
pleasant enough. First of all, you represented me as agreeing with the devil, 
(p. 8 ;) now with Mr. Sandeman. If your wrath rises a little higher, I fear 
you will undertake next to prove, that I have also embraced Mr. Hopkins's 
sentiments, and know it not. You have actually done so towards the close 
of your letter. 

" Speaking of Mr. Edwards's piece on the Nature of Virtue, you observe, 
that his notion of virtue and natural conscience, &c., ' are fundamental to the 
scheme of doctrines I oppose.' They are so ! And his notion of virtue is 
new and strange, and the scheme you have built upon it [is"" new. Both must 
stand or fall together. You ask, ' Why did not Mr. Hart take this Dissertation 
in hand, and censure and confute it ? This would be laying the axe to the 
root of the tree.' It would. I will also tell you why I did not. I had not 
tlien seen that Dissertation, though I had heard of it. If I had seen that and 
your Sermons, before I Avrote, my Dialogue would, in some respects, have been 
more perfect. I have since read that Dissertation, and laid the axe to the root 
of the tree: and, perhaps, shall publish some remarks upon it, showing that 
Mr. Edwards's notions of virtue, of the primnry and secondarif beauty of moral 
things, &c., are wrong, imaginary, and fatally destructive of the foundations 
of morality and true religion. If I do, I hoi)e to have the piece out of the 
press by next commencement. Since you think this will be doing something, 
and that I ought to have done it before, I presume this intelligence will please 
you, and that you will subscribe for a dozen copies, at least." 

It is interesting to look through the dust and smoke of a theologi- 
cal controversy, to the solitary musings of the controversialists. Wo 
have often heard, that no man is a hero to his vakt de chambre. But 
we must say, that the private disclosures of Hopkins are a more 
striking proof of his honest regard for the glory of .Tehovah, than is 
to be found in his public manifestations. The nearer we come to 
him, the more must we honor him. He was assailed so violently, 
that his ministerial usefulness seemed to be destroyed. " I think it 
most probable," he writes, January 12, 1770, " that I shall return to 
private life, if I live much longer, unless there shall be a remarkable 
turn in religious affairs in New England. They are rousing more 
and more every where, and [are] determined to crush and extirpate 
the neio orthodox heresy.'''' Very seldom has an Ainerican divine been 
called, like Hopkins, to contend abstrusely and metaphysically for 

MEMOIR. 197 

his oflScial reputation and his daily bread. Yet how heavenly were 
his thoughts during this severe contest ! It was in the very thickest 
of it, that he wrote the meditations on pp. 73-76 of this Memoir. 
The following extracts from his Diary do not seem to have come 
from a dismissed pastor, whose enemies were toiling to bar the doors 
of the churches against him : 

"Newport, Thursday evening, January 18, 1770. Have begun to write 
remarks upon Mr. Hart, and think it my duty to prosecute it as fast as I can, 
supposing I am called to it by God. O that God would guide my heart and 
my pen through the whole ! 

"Lord's Day, January 21. Preached from Heb. ii, 3: 'How shall we 
escape,' &c. Had freedom of speech, and now feel calm and easy in my 
mind, as having in some measure declared the truth clearly and plainly, and 
recommended myself to men's consciences in the sight of God, I pray God 
to give his blessing to what has been said. May it be the means of salvation 
to some poor soul. 

" Saturday, January 27. I seemed to have some sense, to-day, of God's 
goodness to me. It surpasses all expression — all thought. O, how reason- 
able, how comely is praise ! Let me spend an eternity in this ! " 

The man who wrote thus, and felt thus in his closet, could not 
himself he buried, nor let the truth lie buried under the missiles of 
his adversaries. Nearly all the main principles for which he was 
thus sacrificing his temporal interests, in this controversy on the use 
of means, are now generally adopted by the most successful preachers 
of New England. 

E. Work on Holiness. 

Rev. William Hart published, in 1771, his valuable " Remarks on 
President Edwards's Dissertation concerning the Nature of True 
Virtue." He endeavored to disprove the Edwardean theory, and 
thus to undermine the foundation of Hopkinsianism. He often 
alluded to Hopkins, as the chief representative of Edwards. About 
the same time. Dr. Moses Mather took up the pen against the doc- 
trines of Edwards, Bellamy, and Hopkins, three men who are to 
stand or fall together. Dr. Hemmenway was loudly called upon, by 
many Calvinists of his time, to come forth in aid of Mr. Hart. Hem- 
menway had an exalted reputation as a scholar and divine. His 
friend Buckminster said of him : He " was a sincere and firm Cal- 
vinist of the old school, though candid and charitable to such as had 
their doubts and scruples upon some of its doctrines. He was 
alarmed at some of the strange cions [scions] which modern Cal- 
vinism has attempted to graft upon this stock, an^^ by the subtleties 
of metaphysics, to prove that they were legitimate sprouts from its 
venerable roots." * In 1767, Dr. Hemmenway had published seven 

• See p. 16 of an excellent " Sermon delivered at the Interment of the Rev. Moses 
Hemmenway, D. D., Pastor of the First Church in Wells, (District of Maine.) By Jo- 

198 MEMOIR. 

sermons, on the obligation of the unregenerate to strive for eternal 
life. He, of course, regarded Hopkins's Reply to Mills as a virtual 
reply to those sermons. Accordingly, in 1772, he printed a volume 
of a hundred and twenty-seven octavo pages, entitled : " Vindication 
of the power, obligation, and encouragement of the unregenerate to 
attend the means of grace: — Against the exceptions of Rev. Mr. 
Samuel Hopkins." In reply to these various attacks from Connecti- 
cut, Massachusetts, and Maine, our author published, in his fifty- 
second year, a volume of two hundred and twenty pages, entitled : 
mAii Inquiry into the Nature of True Holiness, with an Appendix, 
containing an Answer to the Rev. Mr. William Hart's Remarks on 
President Edwards's Dissertation on the Nature of True Virtue ; and 
brief Remarks on some Things the Rev. Mr. Mather has lately pub- 
lished. Also, an Answer to the Rev. Mr. Hemmenway's Vindica- 
tion, &.C. By Samuel Hopkins, M. A., Newport, R. I. 

1773." He rightly judged, that the differences between him- 
self and his opponents resulted from their respective views on the 
nature of holiness. His Treatise on this subject was republisbed in 
1791, in an edition of fifteen hundred copies. Mr. Hart and Dr. 
Mather made no rejoinder to this Reply ; but Dr. Hemmenway 
jmblished, in 1774, a hundred and sixty-six pages of " Remarks on 
the Rev. Mr. Hopkins's Answer to a Tract, entitled, ' A Vindica- 
tion,' " etc. In the conclusion of his Remarks, Dr. Hemmenway 
says, " Truth is not afraid of giants." These words betray his con- 
viction that he had fallen into the grasp of a giant. He was an able 
man, but Hopldns had the better cause. Therefore, Dr. Hemmen- 
way was driven to the well-understood methods of a defeated con- 
troversialist. He heaps upon our author injurious charges, of igno- 
rance, pride, anger, Arminianism, Pelagianism, c^ id omne genus; 
accuse«i him of denying original sin, and condemns both him and 
Edwards for their remarks on Ability, etc. As Hopkins took no 
notice of Mr. Hart's personal assault in 1770, so he passed over in 
silence the vituperative Reply of Dr. Hemmenway. He says that 
tlie Reply " was not much read, and had but little influence on the 
minds of any." * Dr. Hemmenway lived to regret and to confess 
his fault, in assailing Hopkins with so much acrimony. It must be 
conceded, however, that Hopkins appeared to feel rather too con- 
scious of his superiority to Hemmenway, and wrote against him in a 
style of occasionally too severe reprimand. His honest contempt 
for weak, inconsistent reasoning was mistaken for a haughty, domi- 
neering temper. His severity, however, was far less than that of 
many controversialists, who have lived in a more refined age. 

seph Buckminster, D. D. ' He was a good man.' 'A great man has fallen.' — 1811." 
Dr. Buckminster was the father of the celebrated Unitarian preacher, Joseph Stevens 
■Bnckminster, of Boston. 
• Sketches, pp. 99, 100. 

MEMOIR. 199 

Hopkins's Theory of Holiness was assailed by an English writer, 
in the Theological Magazine, vol. ii. pp. 139, seq., and defended in 
the same Magazine, vol. iii. pp. 274, seq. To this Reply the British 
divine pubUshed a Rejoinder, in vol. iii. pp. 418, seq., and before a 
surrejoinder could he prepared, the Magazine was discontinued. 

With his Treatise on Holiness, the controversial career of our 
author, as a theologian, ended. In his old age, he looked back upon 
this career with peculiar satisfaction. " Dr. Hopkins, in conversing 
with me on his past liistory," says Channing, " reverted more fre- 
quently to his religious controversies, than to any other event of his 
life, and always spoke as a man conscious of having gained the vic- 
tory ; and in this, I doubt not, that he judged justly. He was true, 
as I have said, to his principles, and carried them out fearlessly to 
their consequences, whilst his opponents wished to stop half way." * 

F. Sermon on the Divinity of Christ. 

Our author's theological forecast, his quickness to discern the be- 
ginnings of error, and to oppose it in its very inception, are strikingly 
manifest in a sermon preached at Boston, in his forty-seventh year. 
He says of it : 

" In 17C8, a sermon which I preached in the Old South Meetincf-house, in 
Boston, was published at the desire of a number of the hearers. The title of 
it is, ' The Importance and Necessity of Christians considering Jesus Christ 
in the Extent of his high and glorious Character.' The text [is] Hebrews iii. 1. 
It was composed with a design to preach it in Boston, as 1 expected soon to 
go there, under a conviction that the doctrine of the divinity of Christ was 
much neglected, if not disbelieved, by a number of the ministers in Boston." f 

Sixty-two years after tliis sermon was published, it was reviewed 
in the Spirit of the Pilgrims, vol. iii. pp. 582-591, and its prophetic 
character was distinctly commended. It is noteworthy, that the very 
man whose writings are sometimes said to have prepared the way 
for Unitarianism among us, was the first to sound the alarm in regard 
to it, more than forty years before it had awakened a general oppo- 
sition in our orthodox community. It was the resolute, uncompro- 
mising spirit of such discourses as this, which led an opponent to 
say of our author : " He was a singularly blameless man, with the 
exception of intolerance towards those who differed from him." | 

G. Sermons on Law and Regeneration. 

In a letter to Dr. Bellamy, dated July 23, 1767, our author writes : 

[I have recently] "preached at Boston, Sal'^m, , Ipswich, Rowley, 

and Newbury, I imagine generally to good acceptance. They are much 

* Works, vol. iv. p. 350. Dr. Channing proceeds to g-ive a synopsis of the Hopkin- 
tian controversy ; but in that synopsis we cannot agree with him. 

t Sketches, p. 95. | Channing's Works, vol. iv. p. 352. 

200 MEMOIR. 

more religious, and zealous to hear preaching at the east of Boston, than in 
any other part of New England. Two sermons which I preached at Ipswich 
are [likely] to be printed. I send you some of the proposals. I have more, 
which I propose to carry to the commencement. If you will wait for me, I 
will endeavor to be at your house Monday night" 

These two sermons were printed in a pamphlet of sixty-five pages, 
in 1768, and reprinted in 1793. The title of the first edition is : 

"Two Discourses : I. On the Necessity of the Knowledge of the Law of 
God, in order to the Knowledge of Sin. II. A particular and critical Inquiry 
into the Cause, Nature, and Means of that Change in which men are born of 
God. By Samuel Hopkins, A. M., Mmister of the Gospel in Great Barrington. 
Boston : Printed and sold by William M' Alpine, about midway between tlie 
Governor's and Dr. Gardiner's, Marlborough Street. 1768." 

In the third division of the second of these discourses, our author 
teaches the moral innocence of all states preceding choice ; and it is 
noticeable tliat this doctrine elicited but little comment from the 
multitude who opposed him. Even Dr. Hemmenway uttered only a 
feeble protest against these discourses. In a note to the second of 
them, (see vol. iii. p. 553, of Hopkins's Works,) our author expresses 
his doubt, whether all that lies back of moral exercises may not be 
resolved into a mere constitution or law of nature. He declares that 
" it is difficult, and perhaps impossible to form any distinct and clear 
idea " of a passive " principle, taste, temper, disposition, habit, &c." 
As early, then, as 1767, the germ of Emmonism was found in the New 
Divinity.* At this time. Dr. Emmons was a member of the senior 
class at Yale College. When Emmons had been only three months 
a licentiate, and before he had made any impression on the theology 
of our land, Mr. Hopkins wrote the following words to Dr. West : 
«' .January 12, 1770. Messrs. Smalley, Hart, and Austin are much 
opposed to the nac notion of no sjjiritual substance, which they call 
llerkshirc Divinity. The two latter insist upon it, that such a notion 
is inconsistent with what I have published concerning regeneration ; 
and that according to this, regeneration is nothing but conversion, and 
is wholly by light. I wish you would turn your thoughts a little on 
this subject. I should be sorry li X\\g fav Edwardeans should get into 
divisions among themselves." This letter proves that the Exercise 
Scheme, which took no notice of {vfhexhcx or not it allowed the existence 
of) any nature or state back of the will, was not an invention of Dr. 
Emmons. The letter also proves that Hopkins was not so sensitive 

* The differences between Hopkins and Emmons pertained chiejiij to other subjects 
than those of sin, ability, etc. Thus, after the publication of one of Emmons's most im- 
portant volumes, Hopkins writes to West : " October 17, 1800. Have you seen Dr. 
Emmons's late volume of sermons 1 I differ from him on two points, which perhaps 
you do not ; viz. the sonship of Jesus Christ, and the perfection but inconstancy of the 
holy exercises of Christians ; their imperfection consisting wholly in the latter." Hop- 
kins was more particularly sensitive to what he regarded as Emmons's error on the sub- 
ject of baptism ; and wrote an essay against the supposed error, but after reading the 
essay to Emmons, concliided not to print it. 

MEMOIR. 201 

as Smalley and Hart, with regard to the scheme, which professed an 
utter ignorance of a passive state or temper occasioning hohness or 
sin. The principles of this scheme had, in fact, been intimated in 
the above-mentioned note to Hopkins's two discourses. He looked 
upon it, as a whole, with more of distrust, and even of respect, than 
of positive aversion.* The letter further suggests, that while Hop- 
kins opposed the prevalent Calvinism of New England, and asserted 
that regeneration is performed without the instrumentality of divine 
truth, some of his followers, as West, Emmons, Spring, coincided 
with that Calvinism, so far forth as to assert that regeneration is not 
performed without the instrumentality of divine truth. They meant 
by regeneration what Hopkins meant by conversion. So curiously 
have the systems of our divines been intertangled with each other. 
In their nomenclature on this theme, Hopkins was farther from the 
New England Calvinism of his day than were his disciples. West, 
Emmons, Spring ! 

The life of Hopkins was a battle. Every thing which he published 
was opposed by some one of the parties then in the field. Tlie above- 
named two discourses were violently assailed in a political newspaper. 
Jonathan Edwards, Junior, then a young man of twenty-four, came 
to the rescue, and wrote a spirited defence of his revered teacher. 
The controversy was too personal, and was exciting in the highest 

; H. Work on Future Ptinishmcnt. 

In his sixty-second year, our author published an octavo volume 
of one hundred and ninety-four pages, entitled : 

" An Inquiry concerning the Future State of those who die in their Sins : 
wherein the Dictates of Scripture and Reason upon this important Subject are 
carefully considered; and whether endless Punishment be consistent with 
Divine Justice, Wisdom, and Goodness. In which, also, objections are stated 
and answered. By Samuel Hopkins, A. M,, Pastor of the First Congrega- 
tional Church in Newport. 1783." 

The work was written several years before its publication. In 
his memoir of himself, our autlior remarks : " I published that book 
at that time, because the doctrine of universal salvation was preached 
and propagated by a number, and began to spread in the country." t 
In the fourth section of this Inquiry, the author says of the M'icked : 
"The smoke of their torment shall ascend up in the sight of tbe 
blessed forever and ever ; and serve, as a most clear glass, always 
before their eyes, to give them a constant, bright, and most affecting 
view of all these. And all this display of the divine character and 
glory will be in favor of the redeemed, and most entertaining, and 
give the highest pleasure to all who love God, and raise their hap- 

» See pp. 176, 200, of ibis Memoir. t Sketches, p. 101. 

202 MEMOIR. 

piness to ineffable heights, whose fehcity consists, summarily, in the 
knowledge and enjoyment of God." Again, he says, that " this 
eternal punishment reflects such light on the divine character," 
and " makes such a bright display " of the Redeemer's worthiness, 
etc., " that, should it cease, and this fire could be extinguished, it 
would in a great measure obscure the light of heaven, and put an end. 
to a great part of the happiness and glory of the blessed." * This 
sentiment is by no means peculiar to our plain-spoken divine. It per- 
vades the Calvinistic treatises. Hopkins clothes it, however, in lan- 
guage more apt than the common phraseology, to give offence. He 
feared not the face of man. What word more obnoxious than the 
word " entertaining," could have been selected for such a theme ? 
Elsewhere, he uses the word "relish" in the same application, and 
with the same boldness. Such a choice, or rather such an employ- 
ment of nervous phrases, for teaching the standard Calvinistic doc- 
trines, illustrates the fact, more fully than it can be shown by a 
lengthened criticism, that the charge of hyper-Calvinism, so often 
preferred against our author, is suggested by his diction, more than 
by his meaning. He meant to express forcibly and effectively the 
real idea of the Calvinistic creed. He meant to be understood and 
felt. He thus awakened the popular prejudice, that his faith on the 
subject of eternal punishment exceeded the standards of orthodoxy. 
He suffered far more opprobrium for his teachings on this theme, 
than for all liis assertions that sin consists in choosing wrong, and 
this wrong choice can be avoided by the transgressor. At least two 
caricature prints were circulated, for the purpose of representing 
him as being " entertained " with the woes of the lost. The above- 
cited passage, with the word " entertaining," was quoted in a sharp 
critique, which appeared against him in the Newport Mercury of 
September 20, 1783. It is pleasing to notice, however, that the 
author of this newspaper criticism, like every other citizen of New- 
port, treated the personal virtues of Hopkins with deference ; com- 
mended him as a man, but rebuked him as a theologian ; spoke of 
him as one " whose education, conduct, and long experience in the 
ministry render his character respectable ; but," he adds, " though 
far my superior in years, experience, and understanding, it may not 
be amiss for him, in the words of the poet, to 

'Lend me, for a while, his patience, 
And condescend to hear a young man speak.' " 

To this newspaper Review of Hopkins, two Replies appeared in 
the Mercury, one of them apparently from our author himself. 

No one can attentively read this Treatise of Hopkins on Future 

* Dr. Hopkins was always prepared to defend his use of these expressions, by the 
fact that words equally intense are employed in the sacred poetry. His style was not 
adopted through carelessness, but on principle. See his Works, vol. ii. pp. 457, 458. 

MEMOIR. 203 

Punishment, and compare it with succeeding discussions of the same 
topic, without perceiving the origiiiahty and profoundness of our au- 
thor, and the often unacknowledged indebtedness of other writers to 
him. Perhaps not one of his Treatises more fully illustrates his 
eminent holiness, as well as his deep penetration. 

I. Theological System. 

Mr. Whelpley, in his celebrated Triangle,* says, that this " is one 
of the noblest bodies of divinity in the English language ; " and he 
predicts that when it shall be candidly studied, " and, especially 
when it shall have the good fortune to be judged by those who have 
read it," "it will stand as high on the shelves of future libraries, and 
be regarded as a work of as much utility and merit, as Pictet, 
Ridgely, and Turretin." Hopkins himself thus writes the history of 
the work : 

" In the year 1793, was published my ' System of Doctrines contained in 
Divine Revelation, explained and defended ; showing their Consistence and 
Connection with each other. To which is added, a Treatise on the Millen- 
nium.' In two large octavo volumes, the whole containing one thousand two 
hundred forty-four pages ; sold to subscribers at three dollars a set There 
was a large subscription for this work, of above one thousand two hundred. 
I sold the copyright to the printers for nine hundred dollars, which has been 
a help to me, in the low, deranged state of my church and congregation ; 
without which I know not how I should have subsisted. I had no expectation 
of getting a penny by the publication when I began, and while I was pre- 
paring it for the press, nor had the least view or thought of it. I was about 
ten years, composing and preparing it for the press. It has been a laborious 
work to me, which I consider as the greatest public service that I have ever 
done. It has met with more general and better acceptation, by far, than I 
expected, both in America and Europe ; and no one has undertaken to answer 
it, though some cursory remarks have been made upon some parts of it, by 
way of objection, which, I believe, will not have much, if any, influence to 
prevent the credit and usefulness of it." \ 

Our author began the composition of this System, on the thirty 
first day of December, 1781, and the Preface to it was dated Au- 
gust 20, 1792. He labored on it, then, from his sixty-first to his 
seventy-first year. He hesitated much with regard to the place of 
its publication. He said : " No printer in this town is equal to it 
[i. e. to publishing so large a work] ; for unless it could be done 
well, I would not have it printed." He finally sent it to Thomas & 
Andrews, in Boston. He wrote, but did not publish, the following 
Dedication of it : 

" [O thou Head] of the Church, [^Sovcreign^ Lord of all! 

" In thine infinite condescension and goodness, permit and assist the most 
imworthy of thy servants to dedicate the ensuing labor and production to 

* See pp. 90, 91. t Sketches, pp. 101, 102. 

204 MEMOIR. 

Thee, and humbly lay it at thy feet, asking thy gracious acceptance, pat- 
ronage, and blessing. 

"Hast not Thou called him and pointed out his way to this work ? And 
hast not Thou supported, assisted, and carried him through it ? Thou seest 
all the defects of it, and every thing that is wrong. Thou only art able to 
prevent the evil effect of these, and overrule them for good. Thou only 
canst bless and succeed this endeavor to serve thy cause, and vindicate and 
promote thy truth, and the interest of thy church and kingdom. Out of the 
mouth of babes and sucklings. Thou dost ordain and perfect strength and 
praise ; and art able to make this attempt the mean of supporting and pro- 
moting thy saving truth, and a blessing to millions ; and cause it to produce 
those happy effects which shall promote thine honor and the happiness of thy 
kingdom, forever. 

"This is thy cause, and to Thee it is cheerfully committed, with joy that 
it is wholly in thine hand, and that thou doest whatsoever pleaseth thee, in 
heaven and on earth. 

" And wilt not Thou, O thou highly exalted and most merciful Saviour, 
accept this offering from one who, though infinitely unwortliy, esteems it the 
highest honor and happiness to be thy devoted servant, forever ? 

Samuel Hopkins." 

Bellamy, who had rendered such fraternal aid to Hopkins, in 
criticizing his preceding works, had now been in his grave two years. 
His son-in-law, Dr. Hart, of Preston, first examined the System in 
manuscript ; then, it was criticized by Dr. West, of Stockbridge ; 
afterwards by Dr. Jonathan Edwards, of New Haven. The last- 
named divine was also requested by Hopkins, to comment on the 
System after its publication. A copy of his remarks is here sub- 
joined. They illustrate the frankness and faithfulness of the criti- 
cisms upon one another, which our great men were wont to 
encourage. They also prove, that Edwards agreed with Hopkins 
on the more important parts of the Hopkinsiau System, and that 
this system received, in the main, the sanction of the more eminent 
divines in that day. Hopkins indorsed on Edwards's letter the 
following words : " Dr. Edwards's Remarks on my System ; — to be 
attended to, if there should be a second edition. March 19, 1795." 
This second edition, however, was not printed until 1811, eight years 
after our author's demise. 

" New Haven, October 29, 1793. Reverend and Honored Sir : I have re- 
ceived your request by President Stiles, that" I would send you remarks on 
your System ; now sit down to comply [with] it. In general, I approve it, and 
thank you for it, and think you deserve the thanks of all friends to the truth. 
Still, some things struck me as capable of amendment. They are as follows : 

"1. Would not real and manifest miracles now wrought in favor of any 
doctrine, not agreeable to the gospel, either prove that doctrine to be from 
God, or prove that the miracles wrought by Moses and Jesus were no proof 
of their doctrines ? This refers to what is said, vol. i. pp. 14, 15.* 

" 2. How do the prophecies of the Old Testament prove that the writings 
of the New are from God ? (Vol. L pp. 20, 21.) Would not the prophecies 

* Dr. Edwards's references are modified, so as to make them conform to the com- 
plete edition of Hopkins's Works. 

MEMOIR. 205 

of the New Testament equally prove any true history of the popes to be 
from God ? 

"3. Is the goodness of the doctrines and duties revealed in the Scriptures, 
a proof that they were given by inspiration'? (Vol. i. pp. 23, 24.) It undoubt- 
edly proves that those doctrines are true, and that those duties are obligatory ; 
but that a number of doctrines and precepts, all favorable to real virtue and 
godliness, could not be invented and published by uninspired men, does not 
appear. Therefore I do not believe what President Edwards has written on 
this subject, in his Treatise on Religious Aifections. 

"4. Is it impossible, that the Scriptures should be understood by men of 
corrupt mind ? (Vol. i. pp. 25, 26.) I do not believe it. 

"5. Goodness and justice are not always the same thing. (Vol. i. pp. 47, 
48.) It is goodness to pardon a sinner believing; but it is not justice. It 
would be justice to damn Paul, but it would be no goodness. 

"6. Goodness, truth, and faithfulness do not appear to be properly dis- 
tinguished. (Vol. i. p. 48.) 

■' 7. That God loves and regards himself infinitely more than the whole 
creation, (vol. i. pp. 51, 52,) appears to me not true. For any being to love 
himself, is to love his own haj)piness. But all God's happiness consists in 
producing a happy creation ; otherwise he is not a benevolent being. Now, 
to say that God regards his own happiness infinitely more than he does that 
on which all his own happiness depends, is manifestly not true. The propo- 
sition rests on the supposition, that God has a private, selfish happiness, not 
consisting in benevolence and beneficence ; which, though implied, will not 
be avowed. 

" 8. God is not above all obligation to his creatures, (vol. i. p. 55,) unless by 
obligation be meant something which implies dependence, subjection to 
power, and exposure to punishment. Doubtless it would be as really sinful 
and wicked for God to abuse a creature, as for a creature to abuse God ; and 
surely wickedness is a violation of moral obligation. 

" [). The proof of the moral perfections of God seems to be defective. 

" 10. I conclive that future existence may be made an end, (vol. i. p. 72,) 
and that the then future, perfect creation was the real end for which God 
created every thing. God makes himself his end, as he makes his happiness 
his end. But the happiness which he makes his end, is the happiness which 
he takes in benevolence and beneficence, or the happiness which he takes in 
the perfect and liigliest happiness of the created universe. So that to make 
himself his end, and to make the happiness of the creation his end, is perfectly 
one and the same thing. Yet, if I understand Dr. Hopkins, he does not view 
it thus, or, at least, his expressions imply the contrary. 

" 11. I wish the conjecture concerning the particular kind of probation of 
the angels (vol. i. pp. 173, 174) were omitted ; it is more suitable to Paradise 
Lost than to a System of Divinity. A systematic divine has no licentia 
poetica. The same I may observe concerning -what is said of the gift of lan- 
guage to Adam, and some things concerning the tree of life. At least, I 
wish conjectures Avere advanced as conjectures, and not as if they were 
granted truths. 

" 12. The first sin of Adam no more, in its own nature, tended to all sin, 
than the first act of holiness in a regenerate man tends to all holiness. 

" 13. Dr. Hopkins considers Adam's sin as the sin of all mankind, and 
supposes that his posterity were considered by God as sinners in consequence 
of Adam's sin. But God is not deceived ; he does not consider them as 
sinners, unless they really be sinners. But they are not really sinners, before 
they are guilty of personal sin. (Vol. i. pp. 212, 213.) 

" 14. He takes it as an axiom, that every moral creature is dependent on 
God for all his moral exercises. (Vol. i. p. 219.) Is this fair, when it is so 
much disputed ? 

" 15. Adam, in his first sin, no more wished all men to sin than every sin- 
ner wishes this, in every sin. 

206 • MEMOIR. 

" 16. Loving self as self, is to me an obscure and unhappy expression. I 
presume what is meant, is what President Edwards meant, by loving that 
iiappiness which consists in such gratifications as are entirely private and 
personal, not implying any benevolence ; such as the pleasure of eating and 
drinking, rest, venery, gratified ambition, «fcc. 

" 17. That the lowest degree of self-love is wrong, is not true, unless sdf 
love be used in an uncommon sense. Will it be said that the lowest degree 
of regard to the pleasure of eating and drinking, of matrimony, and of a good 
reputation, is wrong .' Regard to these pleasures is what President Edwards 
meant by self-love, and I believe is commonly meant. But, no doubt, Adam, 
before he fell, had some regard to these pleasures, yet not a supreme regard. 
Dr. Hopkins seems to mean by self-love, a supreme regard to them. No 
doubt the lowest degree of this is wrong. 

" 18. Dr. Hopkins seems to represent, that faitli not only implies love to 
God, repentance, benevolence to men, &c.. but that it is the very same thing. 

" 19. He seems to go too far into the idea, that Adam's sin is the sin of all 
his posterity, and that they consent to that sin ; yet they no more consent to 
that sin than they do to the sin of Joseph's brethren, or any other sin.* 

"20. Is there not an inconsistency in holding, that all the children of 
believers are included in the covenant with their parents, and therefore are to 
be baptized ; and yet holding that no children are entitled to the promises of 
the covenant, but the children of those believers who are fuithful, who are 
allowed to be but few, of even real believers ? And since we do not know 
who are or will be faithful, how can we know who have a right to baptism for 
their children ; especially since professing Christians do not profess the high 
degree of faithfulness which is requisite ? Nor, indeed, is there a foundation 
for them to profess or promise it, since God has not promised it to them. 

"21. In p. 121 of vol. ii., there appears to be a contradiction: 'Though 
they may not be what they appear to be [holy] ; ' ' though there be no reason 
io believe that they are all such.' 

" 22. That freedom or liberty consists in volition, seems to me not true. Ex- 
ternal liberty is not action, and why should internal ? A marr' may be exter- 
nally free who does not act at all; and why may not he be free internally, 
with respect to that concerning which he has no present volition ? External 
liberty is purely negative, implying the absence of obstacles. So the liberty 
of the will is the absence of natural necessity. Otherwise, the unregenerate 
have no liberty to love God, &lc., &c. 

" 23. I do not believe that, before the millennium, my neighbor will kill me 
because I am a Calvinist, and I kill him because he is an Arminian. This 
was the fashion of Queen Mary's time ; but the fashion is antiquated, and not 
likely to return. 

" 24. I hear, you intend to insert your section on being willing to be damned.f 

* Throughout his journal, Hopkins alludes often to his favorite idea, that Adam's sin 
is ours because we consent to it, and that all transgressions may be imputed to us, pro- 
vided that we voluntarily delight in them. Numerous passages may be found, like the 
following : 

" If any object, that they are undone by the sin of Adam, they may be told that when- 
ever they disapprove of [i. e.. hate, refuse to imitate] the sin of Adam, they shall not be 
hurt by it ; but be delivered from all the evil consequences of it, and be saved, and be 
more happy forever than if he had not sinned." 

"Rom. ii. 1, 2, &c. — The apostle here supposes and asserts, that every impenitent, 
wicked man does the same things which the most corrupt and openly wicked do. Ever}- 
alfowed act of sin approves of all sin. He who hates his brother, is a murderer; who 
looks on a woman to lust after her in his heart, is an adulterer. He who is under the 
government of self-love, has the root of all wickedness, and in embryo practises all the 
sins which men do or can commit." 

This idea lies at the basis of Hopkins's theory of imputation, although some of his 
phrases appear to be inconsistent with this as the fundamental principle of the theory. 

t In the second edition. 

MEMOIR. 207 

I have mentioned it to all the ministers of this neighborhood, friendly to the 
System, and they all wish it may not be inserted ; [in] particular, Mr. Upson. 
The System is now in credit, and I wish nothing may be done to hurt the 
credit of it, and to prevent its doing good. The enemies of the truth will 
take advantage of that section, and triumph. Now, they are silent. Besides, 
it Avould be an injury to the property of Thomas & Andrews; and certainly 
they, by asking you to correct it, do not imagine that you are empowered to 
hurt the sale of the work. If they did, they would not suffer you to meddle 
with it. Indeed, I think you cannot insert that section, consistently with jus- 
tice to them. I will subscribe for half a dozen, if you will print that section 
in a separate pamphlet. I wish the Dedication to the Millennarians [vol. ii. 
p. 224] were left out ; it is too fanciful. 

" These, dear sir, are the principal remarks which I have made. As the 
bearer is going, I can only add, that with great esteem and sincere friend- 
ship, I am yours, Jonathan Edwards. 

" Doct. Hopkins." 

These are the criticisms of one of the niot-t keen-eyed Reviewers 
of his own or of any day. They are the results of an examination, 
which he made for the express purpose of finding in the vohmies of 
Hopkins every fault, wliich the pupil would desire his teacher to 
remove. They were made, as they were received, in the spirit of 
honest and indissokible friendship. There was, probably, no theo- 
logical System extant, to which the sharp-minded critic would have 
proposed so small a number of objections. The fact that the criti- 
cisms of such a man on a work of such extent, are so few, and so far 
from being fundamental, is one of the most pleasing encomiums 
which the work could have received. 

To some it may appear singular, that Dr. Edwards should dare to 
imply that the System of Hopkins was imaginative in the slightest 
degree. There are hundreds of expressions, however, in the System, 
which indicate a simplicity of character, a childhke feeling, seldom 
belonging to an abstruse logician. Thus, in reasoning against the 
idea, that the saints of heaven will return and dwell bodily in the 
world, during the millennium, he says : " They would take up that 
room in the earth, which will be then wanted for those who will be 
born in that day." — Works, Vol. ii. p. 266. In objecting to the 
personal reign of Christ on earth, during the millennium, he says, 
that the Messiah is now " in the most proper, agreeable, and con- 
venient situation, to govern the world and take care of his church." 
— lb. p. 263. Our author teaches, that Adam "was created on the 
latter part of the sixth day, but soon fell into a deep sleep, and had 
no great enjoyment or thought till the next day." — lb. p. 88. 

Tliis stern metaphysician made no attempt to adorn his volumes 
with poetic imagery. But if a man like Byron could be induced to 
read the System of Hopkins, and to look through its unpolished style, 
he would detect in it the elements of a poetic grandeur and sub- 
limity. " It gives me," says Byron, — and he often repeated similar 
remarks, — "a much higher idea of the majesty, power, and wisdom 
of God, to believe that the devils themselves are at his nod, and are 


subject to his control, with as much ease as the elements of nature 
follow the respective laws which his will has assigned them." * Now, 
a prominent feature of Hopkins's System of Divinity is, the su- 
premacy and dominion which it ascribes to the Eternal One. Per- 
haps no work has a more uniform aim to exalt the Creator, and to 
abase the creature. Here is seen the depth and fervor of the author's 
religious sentiment, and tliis sentiment is one of the fountains of 

Far be it from any critic to imply, that Samuel Hopkins ever 
sacrificed his judgment to his imagination. We err, however, when 
we surmise that he had no imaginative tendencies. No one born 
of woman is without them. A decided opposer of his System has 
remarked concerning him : 

" His doctrines, indeed, threw dark colors over the world around him ; but 
he took refuge from the present state of things in the Millennium. The 
Millennimn was his chosen ground. If any subject of tliought possessed 
him above all others, I suppose it to have been this. The Millennium was 
more than a belief to him. It had the freshness of visible things. He was 
at home in it. His book on the subject has an air of reality, as if ^vritten from 
observation. He describes the habits and customs of the Millennium, as one 
familiar with them. He enjoyed this future glory of the church not a whit 
the less, because it was so much his own creation. The fundamental idea, 
the gemi, he found in the Scriptures, but it expanded in and from his own 
mind. Whilst to the multitude he seemed a hard, dry tlieologian, feeding on 
the thorns of controversy, he was living in a region of imagination, feeding on 
visions of a holiness and a happiness which are to make earth all but heaven." f 

Hopkins was, above most others, a prosaic divine ; but there is 
a poetic grandeur in the very thought, that an indigent and often 
invalid pastor, after having been reproached and persecuted for half 
a century, should waver not a hair's breadth from his obnoxious 
faith ; and in his extreme age should publish it, without a single 
attempt to subdue its offensive features, or to win patronage or 
renown ; and, with a seemingly pure aim to glorify his Sovereign, 
should insist, sternly as ever, on a reverence for the unconditional 
decrees, and the every where penetrating agency of that august 
Being. It is pleasant, as well as instructive, to know that this dis- 
interested love of all that he deemed true, was rewarded with the 
esteem of the wise and good; and that the Body of Divinity on 
which our author had expended his maturer years, was ushered into 
the world with the approval, after a most rigid review, of the three 
men whose position and relations gave them an unusual influence 
over the mind of Hopkins. There were no three men living, whose 
sympathy was more gratifying to this early friend and brother of 
President Edwards and Bellamy, than the three who gave their 
careful sanction to his System : one of them, President Edwards's 

* Gall's Life of Byron, p. 276. 

t Channing's Works, vol. iv. p. 353. 

MEMOIR. 209 

son ; another of them, President Edwards's successor in the ministry 
at Stockbridge, the revered " Patriarch of Berkshire County ; " 
another, the son-in-law, and for many years the intimate companionj 
of Bellamy. These men were the representatives of a strong and 
resolute body of clergymen, whose influence has been felt in our 
own and in other lands. 

We by no means intend to imply, that there was no public oppo- 
sition to this most important of Hopkins's writings. Among the 
pamphlets which appeared against it was the following : 

"Remarks on the Leading Sentiments in the Reverend Dr. Hopkins's 
System of Doctrines, in a Letter to a Friend, from Samuel Langdon, D. D. 
Published according to Act of Congress, for the Author. Printed at Exeter, 
by Henry Ranlett, for and sold by the Author ; sold also by most of the Book- 
sellers in New England, and by the Printer hereof. April, 1794." pp. 56. 

President Langdon, in this pamphlet, accuses Dr. Hopkins of 
" artful reasoning," of " an artful way of summing up the whole 
character of the great God of love," " of venturing boldly into 
logical speculations," of agreeing too much with Dr. Priestly on the 
subject of the will, of " scholastic speculations," " over-curious in- 
quiries," " cobweb schemes," etc., etc. He says that Hopkins " has 
prepared a balloon which mounts him very high into the ethereal re- 
gions, until he almost loses sight of earth." In this single pamphlet 
of the worthy President, he has anticipated many phrases of succeed- 
ing but less original critics. It is almost amusing to notice the style, 
in which the old patriarch of Rhode Island received these criticisms 
of Dr. Langdon. " He finds much fault," says Hopkins, " but has 
not written so as to mortify me in the least." " If a thousand 
pamphlets were to be written to no better purpose, I should think 
them not worthy an answer." 

J. Dialogue on Disinterested Submission. 

Dr. Hopkins wrote several essays on the duty of entire resigna- 
tion to the will of God. One of them, which was written several 
years before his death, was not published until two years after it. 
The treatise was entitled " A Dialogue between a Calvinist and a 
Semi-Calvinist." It occupied only twenty-six duodecimo pages, but 
has probably elicited more prejudice against its author, than has been 
excited by all his other writings, except those on the divine govern- 
ment over sin. Yet his speculations on this subject illustrate the in- 
trepidity, with which he followed the principles of Calvinistic authors 
to their logical conclusions. With what a firm tread he moves on, 
from the proposition that men ought to feel as God feels, to the 
proposition, that if God wills them to be lost, they ought to acquiesce 
in his preference. They should be willing to lose their eternal life, 
provided that, and in the same sense that God is willing that they 



lose it. They ought to submit to their own condemnation, provided 
that, and in the same sense that they ought to submit to the condem- 
nation of those fellow-creatures, whom God may in any sense choose 
to condemn. They ought to love neither sin nor misery, as such ; 
but ought to be resigned to any and all evils, so far forth as these 
evils are essential to the highest good of the universe, and are there- 
fore willed by the Holy One. In whatever sense sin and misery are 
not conducive to the general welfare, we should not feel resigned to 
them, either in our own or in other persons. Dr. Samuel Miller 
seems to regard the Hopkinsian doctrine of Disinterested Submission, 
as a logical result from the Edwardean theory on the nature of True 
Virtue ; * but it should rather be regarded as a logical result from the 
old Calvinistic principles, that God in any sense prefers to condemn 
transgressors, and that all men ought to harmonize with every divine 

Such was the habitual view of Dr. Hopkins. He never claimed 
to have done any thing more on this subject, than to have drawn a 
simple inference from admitted principles, and he regarded this in- 
ference as nothing new.t The few pages of his Dialogue give a 
remarkable exemplification of his entire theological character. He 
treated the apostle's words in Rom. ix. 3, on the principle so often 
sanctioned by Calvinistic writers, that " it is safe to speak according 
to the Scriptures ; and so far as any man does not, it is because, in 
that instance, there is no light in him." | Dr. Piitten narrates the 
following incident: 

" A minister of some eminence, from a distance, possessed of great zeal, 
came to Newport, and the Avriter invited him to preacli for Iiim. In his ser- 
mons he denounced what were considered Hopkinsian doctrines, as very 
erroneous and absurd. On Monday morning, the writer inquired if he had 
any wish to see Dr. Hopkins. He expressed his assent. On being intro- 
duced, he said, in a very frank, or rather abrupt manner, ' I want, Dr. Hop- 
kins, a statement from you of the most important arguments in favor o? your 
doctrine, tliat men ought to he unlling to be damned for the glory of God ! ' 
' Why,' said Dr. Hopkins, ' do you call it mine "7 ' ' Because,' replied the 
stranger, ' it is ascribed to you, and I presume you preach it.' ' I do not rec- 
ollect,' said Dr. Hopkins, ' that I ever used those expressions in a sermon, in 
my life, or that I maintain a doctrine which has not been expressed by other 
orthodox divines, and which is not scriptural, and therefore [it is] not my 
doctrine.' The divines to whom he might refer, are, Dr. Cotton Mather in 
his article in his diary on a private fast, and Dr. Doddridge in his Penitent 
in the Rise and Progress of Religion, and various others, who express the 
spirit of the doctrine as maintained by Dr. Hopkins." § 

It has been supposed by some, that our author loaded his sermons 
with the phraseologyj " men must be wilhng to be damned ; " but 
according to the preceding statement, he adopted for the pulpit a 

* See Miller's Life of Edwards, p. 244. 

t See a suggeslion of the inference, on p. 22 of this Memoir. 

X Hopkins's System, vol. i. p. 430. 

^ Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 98, 99. 

MEMOIR. 211 

different style from that which he admitted into his Dialogue. It 
has been also supposed, that he pressed upon all disciples, old and 
young, the duty of a conscious willingness to be lost. But it is the 
testimony of some valuable witnesses, that while he believed this duty 
to be involved in all hearty submission to the divine government, he 
did not expect that all who were truly pious would be distinctly con- 
scious of having performed it ; he did not expect that all youthful, 
or uiiinstructed, or mistaught, or feeble Christians would analyze 
tlieir consciousness so thoroughly as to detect this grace, although it 
was an element in every act of their self-consecration. It is said 
tliat he regarded the perceptible and prominent exercise of the virtue, 
as an attainment of the more enlightened or mature disciple.* 

There is a striking resemblance between the feelings of Dr. Hop- 
kins and the feelings of Fenelon, Madame Guion, and many other 
mystics, with regard to the endurance of pain for the divine glory. 
It is unnatural for any man to rise into these heights of sentiment 
and of reasoning, unless he have an ideality far above that of the 
masses. Hopkins, with all his logic, had a comprehensive though 
not an active imagination, and he took into his range the loftiest sup- 
positions conceivable. His Dialogue is a permanent refutation of 
the slander, that Hopkinsianism is a scheme of low utilitarianism. 
It is the expansive benevolence of his theology, which captivated the 
enthusiastic mind of Channing ; and if Hopkins had adonied his 
sentiments with the graces of a poetic style, he would have been a 
favorite with those imaginative writers who lose themselves in the 
praises of a self-sacrificing spirit, of a self-forgetful soul, swallowed 
up in the well-being of the universe. 

" His system," says Channing, " ho'^'ever fearful, was yet built on a gon- 
ornus foundation. He maintained that all holiness, all moral excellence, 
consists in benevolence, or disinterested devotion to the greatest good ; that 
this is the character of God ; that love is the only principle of the divine ad- 
ministration. He taught that sin was introduced into the creation, and is to 
be everlastingly punished, because evil is necessary to the highest good. To 
this government, in which the individual is surrendered to the well-being of 
the whole, he required entire and cheerful submission. Other Calvinists 
were willing, that their neighbors should be predestined to everlasting mis- 
ery for the glory of God. This noble-minded man demanded a more generous 
and impartial virtue, and maintained that we should consent to our own per- 
dition, should be willing ourselves to be condemned, if the greatest good of 
the universe and the manifestation of the divine perfections should so require. 
True virtue, as he taught, was an entire surrender of personal interest to the 
benevolent purposes of God. Self-love he spared in none of its movements. 
He called us to seek our own happiness as well as that of others, in a spirit 
of impartial benevolence ; to do good to ourselves, not from self-preference, 
not from the impulse of personal desires, but in obedience to that sublime law 
which requires us to promote the welfare of each and all within our influence. 
I need not be ashamed to confess the deep impression, which this system made 

* This is the testimony of several who sat under bis ministry, and whose recollections 
r.n the topic are definite, if not correct. 

212 MEMOIR. 

on my youthful mind. I am grateful to this stern teacher, for turning 
my thoughts and heart to the claims and majesty of impartial, universal 
benevolence." * 

In the same posthumous volume which contained the above-named 
Dialogue, was published "A Serious Address to Professing Chris- 
tians, in the name, and from the words of Jesus Christ, recorded [in] 
Revelation vi. 15." Tliis Address of our author was originally a 
sermon, and illustrates the practical character of his pulpit. 

K. Volume of Sermons. 

The last theological work which our author prepared for the 
press, was a volume of " Twenty-one Sermons on a Variety of In- 
teresting Subjects, sentimental and jiractical. They were published 
at Salem, Massachusetts, in an octavo of three hundred and eighty- 
seven pages, a short time before his death, under the auspices of his 
brother, Dr. Daniel Hopkins. " That they will be printed in my 
lifetime, or ever," says their humble author, as soon as he had fitted 
them for publication, " or whether they are worth printing, is to me 
very uncertain." They are worth printing, although they display less 
versatility of genius than is exhibited in bis sermon to the Stock- 
bridge Indians.! They are well worth reprinting, as the devclo])- 
ments of a singularly consecutive logic. Those principles which 
permeate his System, — that the original cause or occasion of sin 
cannot be itself sinful, J that sin is not the punishment of sin, § that a 
person may be " guilty in those exercises and that conduct in which 
he has no knowledge or consciousness that he is doing wrong," || 
and that if he can not learn the divine will, he " is not guilty at all, 
so does not things worthy of any stripes, because in this case his igno- 
rance is properly invincible;"^ — those and similar principles affect 
the whole train of thought in these discourses. One of our author's 
successors in the ministry ** has remarked, and every student of this 
volume will readily believe the assertion, that " no man ever insisted 
more fully on both doctrines, [divine sovereignty and human liberty,] 
than Dr. Hopkins. Of no man was it more frequently said, that he 
contradicted himself flatly, than of him. This charge always had 
exclusive respect to the doctrines of ability and decrees." Hopkins 
never seems to have been disheartened, when accused of contradict- 
ing himself in regard to these two doctrines ; for he well knew the 
tendency of one-sided men, to suppose that the will is not free if 
God's agency be universal. 

* Channing's Works, vol. iv. pp. 342, 343. f See pp. 16-49 of this Memoir. 

t See System, vol. i. pp. 100-104, 124, new edition. 

^ System, vol. i. p. 194, new edition. [| lb. p. 132 

il Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. p. 323. 

** Rev. Calvin Hitchcock, D. D., Randolph, Mass. > 

MEMOIR. 213 

L. Writings on Slavery. 

The poet John G. Whittier predicts, that " when distracted and 
divided Christendom shall unite in a new Evangelical union, in 
which orthodoxy in life and practice sliall be estimated above ortho- 
doxy in theory, he [Dr. Hopkins] will be honored as a good man, 
rather than as a successful creed-maker; as a friend of the oppressed, 
and the fearless rebuker of popular sin, rather than as the champion 
of a protracted sectarian war."* The activity of this divijie, 
however, on the subject of slavery, formed, in his own view, but an 
episode in his life. Still, could all the letters which he addressed on 
tliis tlieme to lay and clerical philanthropists in Europe and America, 
and cotdd all the essays wliich he printed concerning it in the news 
papers of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, be now 
gathered up, they would form no inconsiderable volume. His 
Dialogue, mentioned on p. 117, and his Sermon, mentioned on p 
144 of this Memoir, constitute but a small part of his writings on 
the subject. 

M. Biographical Writings. 

1. At the age of forty-one, our author wrote, and two years 
afterward published, his first biograjihical work : " The Life and 
Character of the late Reverend, Learned, and Pious Mr. Jonathan 
Edwards, President of the College of New Jersey ; together with 
Extracts from his Private Writings and Diary. Boston, 1764." 
The Seventeen Sermons of Edwards which Hopkins edited, were 
published in the same volume, together with President Edwards's 
Farewell Sermon to his people at Northampton. A second edition 
of this volume was published at Northampton, in 1804. An edition 
of it was published at Edinburgh, in 1799, under the auspices of Dr. 
Erskine. An English edition of the volume, revised and enlarged, 
was published in 1815, in London. Hopkins's Memoir of Edwards 
has served as the basis, for the other Memoirs of that great man. It 
is a narrative by an eye-witness of the scenes described. The world 
are indebted to it, for the best portraiture of Edwards which was 
ever drawn by a man who knew him. One or two of President 
Edwards's children objected to it as incomplete ; and during the 
last thirty years it has fallen into unmerited oblivion. In a coming 
age, however, it will be prized as the result of a confidential inter- 
course with the father of New England theology. 

There are many facts recorded in this Memoir, which give us a 
vivid idea of President Edwards as a man, and which are doubly 
valuable, as the same or very similar facts are reported concerning 

i * National Era, July 12, 181-7. 

214 MEMOIR. 

Dr. Hopkins himself. Thus we read in the biographer's simple- 
hearted and honest style, that : 

" He kept a watchful eye over his children, that he might admonish them 
of the ^^rs< wrong step, and direct them in the right way. He took opportuni- 
ties to treat with them in his study, singly and particularly, about their own 
souls' concerns, and to give them Avarning, exhortation, and direction, as he 
saw occasion. He took much pains to instruct them in the principles of 
religion ; in which he made use of the ./?sse»i6/7/'s Shorter Catechism : not 
merely by taking care that they learned it by heart, but by leading them into 
an understanding of the doctrines therein taught, by asking them questions on 
each answer, and explaining it to them. His usual time to attend this, was on 
the evening before the Sabbath. And, as he believed that the Sabbath, or holy 
time, began at sunset the evening before the day, he ordered his family to 
finish all their secular business by that time, or before, when they were all 
called together, and a psalm was sung and prayer attended, as an introduction 
to the sanctifying the Sabbath. This care and exactness effectually prevent- 
ed that intruding on holy time, by attending on secular business, too common 
in families where the evening before the Sabbath is pretended to be observed. 

" He was a great enemy to young people's unseasonable company-keeping 
and frolicking, as he looked upon it as a great means of corrupting and ruin- 
ing youth. And he thought the excuse many parents make for tolerating 
their children in it, (viz., that it is the custom, and others' children practise it, 
which renders it difficult, and even impossible, to restrain theirs,) was insuf- 
ficient and frivolous, and manifested a great degree of stupidity, on suppo- 
sition the practice was liurtful and pernicious to their souls. And when some 
of his children grew up, he found no difficulty in restraining them from this 
pernicioiis practice, "but they cheerfully complied with the will of their parents 
herein. He allowed not his children to bo from home after nine o'clock at 
night, when they went abroad to see their friends and companions ; neither 
were they allowed to sit up much after that time, in his own house, when any 
came to make them a visit. If any gentleman desired acquaintance with his 
daughters, after handsomely introducing himself, by properly consulting the 
parents, he was allowed all proper opportunity for it, and a room and fire, if 
needed ; but must not intrade on the proper hours of rest and sleep, nor the 
religion and order of the family." * 

II. At the age of seventy-five, our author published " The Life 
and Character of Miss Susanna Anthony. — Worcester, 1796." 

III. At the age of seventy-eight, he published " Memoirs of the 
Life of Mrs. Sarah Osborn. — Worcester, 1799." This and the 
preceding volume consist chiefly of extracts from the writings of the 
women to whom they are devoted. They have an historical worth, 
as illustrating the style of piety which was cultivated under the min- 
istrations of our author. 

IV. Two years after his death, was published a duodecimo of 
two hundred and forty pages, entitled, " Sketches of the Life of the 
late Rev. Samuel Hopkins, D. D., Pastor of the First Congregational 
Church in Newport, written by himself; Interspersed with Marginal 
Notes extracted from his Private Diary : to which is added a Dialogue, 
by the same hand, on the Nature and Extent of True Christian Sub- 
mission ; also, a Serious Address to Professing Christians : closed by 

* Life of Edwards, pp. 50, 51, Edinburgh edition. i 

MEMOIR. 215 

Dr. Hart's Sermon at his Funeral ; with an Introduction to the 
whole, by the Editor. Published by Stephen West, D. D., Pastor 
of the church in Stockbridge. [Printed in] Hartford," [Conn.] Tlie 
Autobiography occupies a hundred and filteen pages. It M'as com- 
posed in 1796 and 1799. Its style is one of singular condensation, 
and breathes all the honesty and lowliness, although, alas ! none of 
the grace of Izaak Walton. Soon after its publication, it was very 
severely reviewed by Rev. Joseph S. Buckminster, in the Anthology. 
Not having been personally acquainted with Eh*. Hopkins, IMr. Buck- 
minster speaks of him with far less reverence than is exhibited in 
the criticisms of Dr. Channing ; although both of these writers 
" shrunk with abhorrence " from the Hopkinsian tenets. 

N. Editorial Labors. 

Our author was urged to edit the writings of President Ed\\ards 
by the President's widow, her eldest son, and her son-in-law, the 
father of Dr. Dvvight. He was probably induced to undertake the 
work, by the known wishes of his revered teacher. We are told by 
Dr. Patten, that " by request of Mr. Edwards, all his [IMr. E.'s] 
manuscripts were placed in the hands of Mr. Hopkins. Tliesc, not 
including liis sermons, amounted to n«iny volumes. He considered it 
not a little to his credit, compared with many ministers who have 
books but do not read them, that he gave all the manuscripts a 
perusal. This he did, not as a task, but as a gratification."* He 
is said, on good authority, to have spent six years mainly in the study 
and preparation of these manuscripts. In 1704, he thus describes 
the labor which had been devolved upon liim : 

" Mr. Edwards has left a great many volumes in manuscript, whicli ho v/rote 
in a miscellaneous way on almost all subjects in divinity ; which he did, not 
vv^ith any design they should ever be published in the form in which they are, 
but for the satisfaction and improvement of his own mind, and that he might 

retain the thoughts which appeared to him worth preserving. Ho has 

wrote much on the prophecies of the Messiah, justification, the divinity of 
Christ, and the eternity of hell torments. He wrote a great deal on the Bible, 
in the same way, by penning his thoughts on particular passages of it, as they 
occurred to him in reading or meditation; by which he has cast much light on 
many parts of the Bible, which has escaped other interpreters, and by wliich 
his great and painful attention to the Bible, and making it the only rule of 
his faith, are manifest. 

" If the public were willing to be at the cost, and publishing books of divinity 
met witli as much encouragement now as it has sometimes, there might be a 
number of volumes publislied from his manuscripts, which would afford a 
great deal of new light and entertainment to the church of Christ ; though 
they would be more imperfect than if lie himself had prepared them for pub 
lie view. 

" As the method he took, to have his miscellaneous writings in such order 
as to be able with ease to turn to any thing he had wrote upon a particular 

* Pattea's Reminiscences, p. 45. 

216 MEMOIR. 

subject, when he had occasion, is, perhaps, as good as any, if not the best that 
has been proposed to the public, — some account of it will here be given; as 
what may be of advantage to young students who have not yet gone into any 
method, and are disposed to improve their minds by writing. 

" He numbered all his miscellaneous writings. The first thing he wrote is 
No. 1 ; the second. No. 2 ; and so on. And when he had occasion to write 
on any particular subject, he first set down the number, and then wrote the 
subject in capitals or large characters, that it might not escape his eye when 
he should have occasion to turn to it. As, for instance, if he was going to 
write on the happiness of angels, and his last number was 148, he would 
begin thus : 149. Angels, their happiness. And when he had wrote what 
he designed at that time on that subject, he would turn to an alphabetical table 
which he kept, and under the letter A, ho would write. Angels, their happi- 
ness, — if this was not already in his alphabet ; and then set down the number 
149, close at the right hand of it. And if he had occasion to write any new 
thoughts on the same subject, if the number of his miscellanies were in- 
creased, so that his last number was 2G1, he Avould set the number 2C2, and 
then the subject as before. And when he had done writing for that time, he 
turned to his table, to the word Angels ; and at the right hand of the number 
149, set down 262. By this means he had no occasion to leave any chasms, 
but began his next subject where he left off" his last. 

"The number of his miscellaneous writings ranged in this manner, amounts 
to above fourteen hundred. And yet, by a table contained on a sheet or two 
of paper, any thing he wrote can be turned to at pleasure." * 

It is an interesting' fact, that the first printed volume for which 
l^Ir. Hopkins felt any personal responsibility, was Edwards on Origi- 
nal Sin. This treatise was published in 1758, before Mr. Hopkins 
bad written any thing for the press, except in the newspapers. A 
few sheets of the volume had been ])rinted, several months before 
President Edwards's decease. The subject of this work was one 
which bad long occupied the mind of Hopkins. At the age of 
twenty-three, he wrote in his Journal : " I have been reading Mr. 
Taylor's works, who denied original sin. I cannot fall in with him. 
If I give up this doctrine, I must give up Christianity." Although 
Hopkins often declares in bis System, that the children of Adam are 
not answerable for bis sin, and it is not their sin, any further than 
tbcy approve of it, by sinning as be did, — in this way only they be- 
come guilty of bis sin, viz., by approving of what he did, and joining 
with him in rebellion," — and although Hopkins expressly defines 
original sin to be " tliat total moral depravity which takes place in 
the hearts of all the children of Adam, in consequence of bis apos- 
tasy, which consists in exercise or act, as really as any sin can do, 
and therefore cannot be distinguished from actual sin ; " t he yet, in 
some of bis expressions on this theme, approaches more nearly to 
the style of Edwards's treatise on the same doctrine, than has any 
other eminent divine of New England within the past century. | It 
is a proof of his most affectionate attachment to bis theological 

* Life of Edwards, pp. 98, 99, Edinburgh edition. 

t See System, vol. i. pp. 218, 224, 230, etc.. etc. 

t In proof of this statement, see Hopkins's System, vol. i. pp. 199, 200, 210, 211, 213. 

MEMOIR. 217 

in&tructor, that lie nowhere s{>ecifically declares his dissent from 
Edwards's philosophy ou this theme, and he frequently speaks of 
Edwards's treatise with high commendation.* 

On the tenth of December, 1759, Hopkins writes to Bellamy : 

"Mr. Foxcroft [pastor of the First Church, Boston] has offered Mr. Ed- 
wards's children [that he will] assist in the publication of some of Mr. Ed- 
wards's manuscripts ; and promises faithfulness, if they will commit any to 
him. Mrs. Gill has s^nt a letter to them, nrginpf them, by many arguments, 
to accept of Mr. Foxcrofl's kind offer; and Mr. Hawley has wrote about it to 
Mr. Dwight. And Mr. Dwight has wrote up, proposing that some manu- 
scripts should be sent to Mr. Foxcroft, by my advice and help. The children 
seem to be pleased with the scheme. Accordingly, the two Dissertations on 
the End of God, &c., and on Virtue, and forty-sLx volumes of Sermons are 
selected to be sent to Boston. 

" Mr. Foxcroft proposes, that some history of Mr. Edwards's life shall be 
prefixed to the first publication, and desires me to send him what I have 
wrote. [I] have encouraged him I will transcribe and send it, but almost regret 
that I have done it, on several accounts." 

More than two years after the date of this epistle, Hopkins wrote 
again to Bellamy, in a characteristic way : 

" March 24, 1762. I have a letter from Mr. Gumming, [Pastor of Old 
South Cluirch, Boston,] from which I gather, that nothing is done toward 
printing Mr. Edwards's Life and Sermons. The sermons not transcribed ; 
they depend much upon me to do it, while the sermons are at Boston ! The 
printer waiting for subscriptions, very few of which come in. Mr. Foxcroft, 
[on whom chief reliance had been placed,] sick, and can do nothing towards it. 
Mr. Gumming, out of health and under difficulties, and a degree of persecu- 
tion, has thoughts of printing in his own defence. Mr. Searle [a particular 
friend of President Edwards] cannot transcribe. Tliat on the End of God, 
&c., is not transcribed yet. Nothing will be done. I have been much out of 
health of late; have not preached the two Sabbaths past; have done no busi- 
ness for some time. My people are in an uncommon ferment, and I am 
dejected and discouraged." 

We wait more than two years longer, and find Hopkins himself in 
Boston ! His printer had struck oft" only six of Edwards's sermons 
and three sheets of Hopkins's Memoir. Of the forty-six volumes of 
manuscript, only seventeen sermons were printed as late as the close 
of 1704 ! Edwards had then been in his grave nearly seven years. 
So ditHcult was it, in that day, to bring forward the publications of 
one whf»se most trivial manuscripts are now regarded as treasures. 
It has been supjjosed, that the writings of President Edwards re- 
ceived, from the churches of our land, a far more cordial welcome 
than was given to the productions of Hopkins. But between the 
first and second editions of Hopkins's Works, a shorter interval 
elapsed, than between the first and second editions of Edwards's 
valuable publications. It is a humiliating fact, that several of Ed- 
wards's writings were sent to Scotland for publication, because our 
own community would not patronize them ! 

* See liis Memoir of Edwards, p. 61, Edinburgh edition. 

218 MEMOIR. 

In the early part of 1765, our author succeeded in carrying 
through the press the two Dissertations " Concerning the End for 
which God created the World," and the " Nature of True Virtue." 
Together with Hopkins's Preface, etc., they formed a duodecimo of 
only a hundred and ninety-eight pages ; a small volume, written and 
edited by ministers in the forests of New England, but destined to 
enchain the attention of such philosophers as Dugald Stewart and Sir 
James Mackintosh. The proof-sheets of this volume were corrected 
by Messrs. Pemberton and Eliot of Boston. Edwards had written 
the Dissertations three years, at least, before his death. He had 
made a public announcement of his intention to publish, soon, the 
Treatise on Virtue. The main idea of that treatise he had de- 
veloped in his college life ; and had thus matured it during his forty 
years of study. It was, therefore, incumbent on Hopkins to prepare 
it as soon as possible for publication. Both he and Bellamy had 
reviewed, in company with Edwards, the Treatise on the End of 
God in creating the World ; and there is no doubt, that the Trea- 
tise on Virtue had been the topic of earnest consultation among these 
three friends.* Hopkins, especially, was so intimate with Edwards, 
and was withal so inquisitive, and eager for information, that he 
must have ascertained the opinions of his teacher with regard to the 
practical bearings of the theory which, more than almost any other, 
contains the " seeds of things." He spent much of his life in de- 
fending and applying this theory of virtue. He founded many of his 
peculiarities upon it. No man had enjoyed so signal an advantage 
for learning the varied uses which Edwards would make of it. Dr. 
Samuel Miller says : " It is confidently believed, that if he [Ed- 
wards] had foreseen the use which has since been made of the doc- 
trine of this Dissertation [concerning Virtue], he would either have 
shrunk from its publication, or have guarded its various aspects with 
additional care." t But Hopkins expresses the general opinion, 
when he affirms, in the Preface to these Dissertations, that Edwards 
" had a rare talent to penetrate deep in search of truth ; to take an 
extensive survey of a subject, and look through it into remote con- 
sequences." Some of these consequences, there is reason to believe 
that Edwards himself would have more fully developed, had he lived 
to edit his own manuscript ; for Ho])kins says in his instructive Pre- 
face, that " if his [Edwards's] life had been spared, he would have 
reviewed them [i. e., the two Dissertations,] and rendered them in 
some respects more complete. Some new sentiments, here and 
there, might probably have been added, and some passages bright- 
ened with farther illustrations. This may be conjectured from some 
brief hints or sentiments, minvited down on loose papers found in 

* See pp. 49, 50, of this Memoir. 
t Miller's Life of Edwards, p. 244. 

MEMOIR. 219 

the manuscripts." Hopkins knew what tliese additions were. If 
they had been at all inconsistent with the main doctrine of tlie Dis- 
sertations, liis honesty would have prompted him to publish the fact. 
But he knew the contrary. He implies that they confirmed and 
illustrated that great doctrine. Here we see a new cause for thank- 
fulness to an all-wise Providence, that the editorial supervision of 
Edwards's works was committed to his confidential friend, who had 
a better acquaintance than any other man, with the inner views and 
aims of the " prince of metaphysicians ; " and who, in his reverent 
spirit, chose to call himself an Edwardean, while in his modesty he 
never desired to bo called a Hopkinsian. 

After preparing several other works of Edwards for the press, the 
disheartened editor became satisfied that they would not be sold, and 
he therefore turned his mind to other projects. 

Much instruction may be derived from the changes which have 
taken place, in the relative estimate of these two divines. It has 
been a cherished intent of some, to magnify the differences between 
the teacher and the pupil. But formerly, the most jealous admirers 
of Edwards were wont to say, tliat his pupil was indebted to the six 
years' study of the President's manuscripts, for the most important 
peculiarities of the Hopkinsian creed, and therefore the creed ought 
to be called Edwardean. Dr. Channing is equally sure of the sub- 
stantial agreement between the two friends, but takes an entirely 
different view of their relation to each other. " My impression is," 
he writes, " that President Edwards was a good deal indebted to 
Dr. Hopkins for his later views of religion; especially for those 
which we find in his Essays on Virtue and on God's End in Crea- 
tion, Dr. Hopkins had not the profound genius of Edwards, but 
was he not a man of a freer and a bolder mind ? " * 

Doubtless the two friends, in their frequent conferences during an 
intimacy of seventeen years, in their many social rides and walks, and 
their closet interviews, which are so often mentioned in the Diary of 
Hopkins, gave to each otlier many hints, and opened before each 
other many views, which neither would have received alone. The 
pupil loved to confess, that his mind derived an unwonted stimulus 
and enlargement from the earnest study of his teacher's manuscripts ; 
and the fact that those manuscripts were committed to his care, is 
one indication of the confidence which his teacher was known to have 
reposed in him. The pupil revered the instructor, and the in- 
structor relied on the sound judgment of the pupil. With his char- 
acteristic honesty, Hopkins avows in regard to the most vital of all 
his speculations : " In this, however, I don't pretend to be an origi- 
nal. President Edwards, in his Dissertation on the Nature of True 
Virtue, has given the same account of holiness, for substance, 

* Leiier of February H, 1840. 



(though under a different name,) which the reader will find in the 
following Inquiry.* All I can pretend to, as an improvement on 
him, is to have explained some things more fully than he did, and 
more particularly stated the opposition of holiness to self-love ; and 
shown that this representation of holiness is agreeable to the Scrip- 
ture, and to have answered some objections he has not mentioned, 
and made a number of inferences." Dr. Jonathan Edwards acknowl- 
edges, that Hopkins effected the great improvement in American 
theology, with regard to the use of means in an impenitent state ; 
and yet both Dr. Edwards and Dr. Hopkins strenuously contended, 
tliat this improvement is a logical result of premises laid down l)y the 
President himselff These doctors may have misunderstood the 
principles of the Edwardean theology ; but if Hopkins did not, more 
fully than any other man, comprehend these principles, he must have 
been singularly obtuse ; for he was more conversant than any other 
man with their author, when he first developed them ; he aided in 
that development ; his suggestive mind was often consulted and con- 
fided in by their author; he was intrusted with their defence; he 
examined them with rare intenseness after their author's demise ; 
he devoted the studies of sixty years to them ; he saw them in their 
practical workings ; he learned them by living them. He did not 
mean to be a co])yist of Edwards. He believed, however, and loved 
to believe, that, if Edwards had lived to a good old age, the two 
friends would have remained as firmly united with each other in 
faith, as they had ever been ; that they would have continued to 
plead for essentially the same theories, to enjoy essentially the same 
aids, and to contend against essentially the same objections. 

O. Miscellaneous Essays. 

These were very numerous ; too much so to be here specified. 
Many of them were published in tlie Theological Magazine ; a peri- 
odical to which himself and Drs. Edwards and West contributed the 
ablest articles. Some were published in the Connecticut Evangeli- 
cal Magazine, in the newspapers of Hartford, Boston, Providence, 
and Newport. In his Diary, Hopkins often speaks of manuscripts 
which he was interested in writing. Some of them are now lost. 
Several which are preserved relate to baptism, miracles, prayer, the 
nature of " saving faith," the atonement, free justification, and kin- 
dred topics. The greater part of them, however, are expositions of 
biblical texts, and prove that the Bible, rather than books of meta- 
physics, was his chief study. The following is a single specimen of 

* " Inquiry into the Nature of True Holiness ; '' from the Preface to which volume, 
these words are quoted. 

t See the Essay in Dr. Edwards's Works, vol. i. pp. 488, 4S9, on the Improvements 
made in Theology by President Edwards. 


his exegetical * papers. The present biographer would, on some 
accounts, choose to make a few alterations in it, but as he has, in 
other instances, abstained from any changes in his author's compo- 
sitions, (except in those rare cases which are denoted by brackets,)! 
so he prefers, on the wliole, to let the ensuing illustration of Hop- 
kins's philology speak for itself, verbatim et literatim. 

" December, 18, 1786. I have been attending to Gal. iv. 12 : ' Brethren, 
I beseech you, be as I am ; for I am as ye are : ye have not injured me at 
all.' The original is, ' Be ye as I ; for I as you.' 

" 1 find it capable o^ four senses different from each other, which have 
been put upon it. 

" By some it has been taken as expressing his desire to be one [with the 
Galatians] in affection and love, which is effected by [their] loving each other 
as themselves. He wishes them to love him as he loved them, and exercise 
the same kind of affection. The words of Jehoshaphat, they suppose, are an 
illustration of this sense, (1 Kings xxii. 4,) ' I am as thou art.' In the original 
it is ' I as thou.' This sense is embraced by Luther, Calvin, Beza, Grotius, 
and Gomarus. 

" Others give the following sense : ' I have put off the Jew, and considered 
their rites of circumcision, &c., as not binding, and have, in these things, con- 
formed to you Gentiles, and conversed freely with you. I am, in this respect, 
as you Gentiles ; I beseech you to continue to be as I am, and not forsake 
me by turning Jews, in conforming to their rites, which I have renounced, 
but be as I am.' 

"This is the construction of Estius, Monochius, Erasmus, and Tinius. 
" Another sense is put upon this text by some Greek expositors, mentioned 
by Estius, by Paraeus, Vestius, Vatabulus, and Dr. Doddridge. They render 
the text thus, ' Be ye as I now am, for I was once as ye are,' i. e., I was once 
in the same error, into which you are now running. I know the sin and dan- 
ger of it ; I wish you to renounce it, as I have done, and be as I now am. 

" I find, by examining my manuscripts, that above forty years ago I under- 
stood this passage in a sense different from all the fore-mentioned, which 
seems to have been the sense to which I was led by attending to the original, 
without consulting any author, or knowing how it had been understood by 
expositors. I then paraphrased the verse as follows : ' Be ye as I am ; for I 
am as ye were, and ought to be. Brethren, I am concerned for your good, 
and seeking your benefit, and not my own interest ; for that is not concerned 
in the matter ; for what you have done no way hurts or injures me in my per- 
sonal interest.' 

" In the original, the words a5si,q)ol dto/uat. v/zCoi' come in after the first 
sentence, ' Be ye as I ; for I as you,' and seem to be a sentence by itself, 
agreeable to the punctuation in the Greek Testament ; and not as the English 
translation puts it, by transposing the words. The sense I have given of the 
words in my paraphrase, perhaps, is sirained. It is tliere supposed that a 
peculiar emphasis is to be put on the word Sioiuui ; that it expresses his 
tender concern for their interest, by which he was led, in the most tender 
manner, and with the greatest concern and compassion for them, as on his 
knees, to entreat and beseech them, not in the least mfluenced by any personal 
interest or resentment ; which the last words express: ' Ye have not injured 
me at all,' quod dicit. You have hurt yourselves, and not me, by renouncing 
the truths which I taught you ; and I am entreating you, and exercising dis- 
interested compassion for you, and seeking not my own profit, but yours. 
" ' For I am as ye were.' This is as easy and natural a supply to the original, 

* The word exegesis is occasionally used by Hopkins, in his comnjents on the Bible, 
i See the Preface to this Memoir. 

232 MEMOIR. 

as 'I was as ye are^ or any other. They did, at first, embrace the truth 
preached by Paul, and did run well for a time. They turned away from the 
truth. Paul continued steadfast as he was, and wished them to return to him, 
and be as they once were." 

Many of Dr. Hopkins's biblical Expositions are much more accu- 
rate than the preceding, and would have been here substituted for it, 
if the aim of this Memoir had been to proclaim his merits and con- 
ceal his faults. He would doubtless have applied to this Exposition 
the epithet, which he so often applied to his manuscripts, " non dig- 
num typist But the most incorrect of his philological essays prove, 
that he was accustomed to study the original languages of the Bible, 
and the ablest commentaries upon it, and then to form his own in- 
dependent judgment. 

P. European, Correspondence. 

This was elaborate and voluminous. Our author's letters arc 
scattered among the documents of Erskine, Sharp, Macaulay, Ful- 
ler, Ryland, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and 
various other associations and individuals. No one can say, tliat Dr. 
Hopkins did not accomplish as much for the world, by his epistles to 
the English and Scotch divines, as by his published volumes. He in- 
fluenced men who had great power over their race. He touched the 
hinges of a large community. 

It is well known that " American Theology,^^ as it was termed, had 
a marked influence in breaking down the Antinomianism of the Eng- 
lish dissenters. The three American writers who were most care- 
fully studied by the British assailants of that Antinomianism, were 
Edwards, Hopkins, and Bellamy ; and this triumvirate exerted, 
through Andrew Fuller and his coadjutors, nearly as much power 
over Old, as over New England. No small part of this influence 
came through the correspondence of Hopkins. At one date, we find 
him urging his friends to print an English edition of Bellamy's 
works. At another date, we find him remonstrating, in a letter of 
eight closely written pages, against James Hervey's doctrine of jiis- 
tifying faith. In all his epistles he has a serious object. 

The most important of his letters were in reference to the writings 
of the celebrated Abraham Booth. In 1796, Mr. Booth published 
his " Glad Tidings to perishing Sinners ; " a work written in de- 
signed opposition to the school of Andrew Fuller. Mr. Booth " sus- 
pected, that Mr. Fuller and his friends were too much attached to 
the sentiments of President Edwards and other American divines of 
later date ; and that by importing their metaphysical refinements, 
there would be some danger of relaxing that muscular system of 
theology [?] to which he himself was so ardently attached." " In 
the progress of his inquiry, Mr. Booth did not fail to animadvert pretty 

MEMOIR. 223 

severely on some of the American writers; whom he mentioned 
rather in terms of contempt ; and the sentiments of Dr. Hopkins in 
particular, on the subject of regeneration and justification, he con- 
sidered as 'pernicious' and tending to 'corrupt the Gospel.' His pam- 
phlet soon crossed the Atlantic, where it was attentively examined by 
Dr. no[)kius, who transmitted to a friend on this side the water a 
complete refutation of several of Mr. Booth's positions, accompanied 
with some pointed strictures on the temper of his ])erformance, and 
the inconclusive nature of his reasonings. The respect entertained 
for Mr. Booth, did not permit the printing of this valuable manu- 
script, and it obtained only a private Circulation ; for, whatever dif- 
ference of opinion might exist on some speculative points, all parties 
were agreed in paying homage to his [Mr. B.'s] character. Mr. 
Fuller apologized to Dr. Hopkins for Mr. Booth's manner of writing, 
and his seeming contempt for contemporary authors, in a letter dated 
March 17, 1798 ; while he, at the same time, expressed his own 
opinion of the manuscript in question. 'I sincerely thank you,' says 
he, [Mr. Fuller to Dr. Hopkins,] « for your remarks on Mr. Booth's 
performance ; wliich every person of judgment who has seen them, 
within my knowledge, considers as a decisive refutation.' " * It was 
common for Hopkins to receive like testimonies of gratitude from 
his English friends, for his aid in their controversies. 

Mr. Fuller encountered a severe opposition in consequence of his 
esteem for the " American theology." He was sometimes derisiv^ely 
called the " American doctor." t Very frequently was he reproached 
as an Arminian. " In fact," says his biographer, " so blind was the 
enmity directed against him, that one of the churches in his own 
neighborhood refused, for seven years, to hold communion with him, 
or to allow any of their members to have fellowship with his church." | 
It is natural, therefore, that both Fuller and his biographer should 
feel desirous of dissociating his name with those peculiarities of 
American divines, which he did not approve. In a letter to Hopkins 
dated March 17, 1798, he specifies the following objections to Hop- 
kins's "manner of writing," and also to the metaphysical tendencies 
of some more youthful writers in our land : > 

I. "T am not sure that your iJoa of God being ' the author of sin,' is essen- 
tially difforont from the notion of those Calvinists who consider sin as the 
object of divine decree ; but I am satisfied of this, that to say ' God is the 
author of sin,' does so naturally convey to almost every mind the ideas that 
(/od is the friend and approver of sin ; that we are mere passive instruments ; 

* Soe Morris's Life of Fuller, chapter xi. 

t This may have been owinoc. in part, to the circumstance that he received a doctor- 
ale from the College of New Jersey, in 17DG. This doctorate, however, was declined 
by Mr. Fuller, in a letter to Dr. Hopkins in 1798 ; as the same honor from Yale Col- 
lege was declined by him in 1805, in a letter to Dr. Dwight. 

I Morris's Memoir of Fuller, chapter ix. See also Ryland's Life of Fuller, chapter 
viii. and Appendix. 

224^ MEMOIR. 

and that he himself, being the grand agent, ouglit only to be accountable for it, 
— that I should think, by using it, I conveyed ideas directly contrary to James 
i. 13 ; and I must say, that the whole of that passage, taken together, appears 
to ine to represent an important truth, which your manner of writing seems 
to overlook, and which is thus expressed by M'Lanrin in his sermon on the 
passage : ' Whatever dishonorable thoughts sinful men may have of God 
to the contrary, yet it is a truth clearly evident, that God is infinitely free 
from the blame of their sins.' Your observations on the passage in the 4th 
chapter of your System, go only to prove that your views do not represent 
God as tempting men to sin, or as being tempted himself to sin ; but you do 
not observe the opposition m the context, that evil is not to be ascribed to 
God, (ver. 13-15 :) that every good and perfect gift is to be ascribed to 
God, (ver. 16-18.)" 

II. " I have enjoyed great pleasure in reading many of your metaphysical 
pieces, and hope those who can throw light on evangelical subjects in that 
wav, will continue to write. But I have observed that wherever an extraor- 
dinary man has been raised up, like President Edwards, who has excelled in 
some particular doctrines or manner of reasoning, it is usual for his followers 
and admirers too much to confine their attention to his doctrines or manner 
of reasoning, as though all excellence was there concentrated. I allow that 
your present writers do not implicitly follow Edwards, as to his sentiments, 
but that you preserve a spirit of free inquiry ; yet I must say, it appears to me 
that several of your younger men possess a rage of imitating his metaphysical 
manner, till some of them become metaphysic mad. I am not without some 
of Mr. Scott's apprehensions, lest by such a spirit the simplicity of the gospel 
should be lost, and truth amongst you stand more in the wisdoui of men than 
in the power of God." 

Dr. Hopkins replied to this letter in the same fraternal s])irit which 
prompted it. His answer is very instructive, as in it he disclaims all 
belief in the theory which Fuller condemns, respecting the divine 
agency in producing sin, and also discountenances all such use of 
metaphysics as appeared unsafe to liis transatlantic friend. Fuller 
was objecting, not to strict Hopkinsianism, but to an erroneous view 
of it ; not to the substance, but to Hopkins's expression of the doc- 
trine, that God decrees the existence of sin and insures the fulfilment 
of his decrees. This is obvious from the ensuing reply, which con- 
tains nothing but a straightforward Calvinism dressed in the Hop- 
kinsian style. 

"Newport, October 12, 1798. Dear Sir: I feel myself much obliged to 
vou for your letter to me of March 17, which did not come to hand till the 
third instant. 

•' I am far from wishing to say or do any thing to alter your opinion of 
the honesty and holiness of Mr. Booth ; but, from what I have seen of his 
writings, — which are only his Reign of Grace and Glad Tidings, — I cannot 
consider him as a divine of a clear or orthodox head ; and I tliink I have a 
divine Avarrant to say, that the religion which has its foundation on the prin- 
ciples he has asserted, both in his Glad Tidings and Reign of Grace, (see 
pp. 248, 270, of the later edition of 1795,) is altogether a selfish religion, and 
therefore abominable to God. (See Matt. iv. 46.) 

" I could not see how his treatment of my sermons on Law and Regeneration 
c'ould be reconciled v/ith Christian candor or honesty. But as I am not so 
proper a judge of that matter as you are, I am willing the apology you make 
for him should be admitted. 

" I am, I confess, a great enemy to that religion which originates in selfish- 

MEMOIR. 325 

ness, and consists wholly in it, as I am certain it is directly contrary to the 
religion which Jesus Christ inculcated; and fear that millions in the Christian 
world have perished, and are perishing with it. I have, for a number of 
years past, made exertions to detect and oppose it. And I am not surprised, 
that so many condemn me as carrying matters too far on this head. They 
appear to uie to be unwilling this abominable idol should bo wholly destroyed. 

"I allow your observation to be in some measure just, that some American 
writers are ' metaphysic mad.' I know not, liowever, what writings you refer 
.to, unless it be some pieces wliich ii.ive been published in the Theological 
Magazine. A number of them, especially those written by Speculator, 
Vol. I. No. v., have offended many of tlie subscribers for the Magazine, and a 
number have withdrawn their subscription on that account. But very few 
Americans, and none, perhaps, but tlie author or authors, approve of writings 
of that complexion. 

" You might well say, ' I am not sure that your notion of God being the 
author of sin, is essentially different from the idea of sin being the object of a 
divine decree.^ You may be sure it is not, so far as you can rely on my dec- 
laration, and you can see any force in the arguments I have offered to prove 
there is no difference, and which I thought amounted to a demonstration. 
(See System, Chap. IV.) * 

"To say that God is the author of sin, without any explanation and show- 
ing in what sense he may be said to be so, and in what sense he is not, would 
doubtless be wrong, and convey to those who do not understand the subject, 
wrong ideas, injurious to the divine character. I think I am not chargeable 
with this. I have endeavored to prove that God being, in the sense ex- 
plained, the origin or cause of sin, does not imply any thing contrary to his 
infinite holiness, or tliat he is pleased with sin, considered in itself. (System, 
Chap. ly.) 

" It is impossible to prevent wrong ideas on this subject, in those who are 
strongly prejudiced against the truth, and will not think carefully and impar- 
tially, or to stop their mouths. The doctrine that God has foreordained whatso- 
ever comes to pass, (which I have declared, and think I have proved implies all 
which I have advanced on the subject,) has been always objected to, as making 
God the author of sin, and implying ' that he is the friend and approver of 
sin.' Thousands and millions in the Christian world Ivdvefelt and said this 
was tiTie. And all that Calvinists have said to remove the objection from the 
minds of most, has not done it. And the objection cannot be well answered, 
without at the same time answering all the objections that are made to the 
divine agency in the existence of sin. The objection to the divine agency in 
originating sin, ' that we are passive instruments, and that he himself being 
the grand agent, ought only to be accountable for it,' is equally against God 
working in men to will and to do that which is good, as his agency in the 
existence of moral evil. They, therefore, who believe the former, cannot con- 
sistently make this objection to the latter. (See System, fourth chapter.) 
And, indeed, the objection has no foundation m reason, as, I think, has been 
fully shown in my System. 

" On the whole, if God's decreeing or willing the existence of sin, and, 
consequently, doing all that without which it could not exist, and which en- 
sures its existence, (the latter being necessarily implied in the former,) does 
represent him as being pleased with sin itself; then his decreeing and pro- 
ducing natural evil, does equally represent him as delighting in the misery 
of his creatures for its own sake, v.hich is as inconsistent with his goodness 

* Here is a definite proof, that Hopkins meant no more, by teaching that God is the 
autiior of sin, than is meant by teaching that God foreordains sin, and secures tlie fulfd- 
ment of his decree. He who docs not l)clieve this, may be a good man, but is no Cal- 
vinist. — The phraseology of Hopkins often does injustice to his real meaning. 


as the former is with his holiness. And there is no way to obviate the objec- 
tion against the latter, which will not equally remove that against the former. 
(See System, Chap. IV.) 

" But what the apostle James says (chap. i. verse 13-18) is tliought to be 
inconsistent with divine agency in the existence of sin, and ' teaclies that evil 
is not to be attributed to God ; but that every good and perfect gift, especially 
that of regeneration, is.' 

" You observe, that ' my observations on the passage go only to prove that 
my views do not represent God as tempting men to sin.' If I have proved 
this, then the apostle's words are not contrary to my views, or inconsistent 
with the divine agency in the existence of sin. Consequently, his saying that 
every good and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the 
Father of lights, &c., is not opposed to this ; but to his tempting men to sin, if 
opposed to any thing, (which is quite a different thing.) The apostle does 
not say, that God has no agency in any thing but that which is in itself good, 
and is not the origin and cause of that which is not in itself a good and per- 
fect gift ; but only that every such gift is from him, witliout affirming or im- 
plying that he has no agency in any existence or event which is not in itself 
a good and perfect gift, and which cannot properly be called a gift. The 
agency of God in producing natural evil is never represented in Scripture, I 
think, to be a gift, much less a good and perfect gift •, because what is pro- 
duced is in itself evil ; and is consistent with every good gift coming from 
God ; and asserting the latter does not deny tlie former, nor is in any degree 
inconsistent with it. This may be applied to moral evil with equal truth and 

" If there were no other passage in tlie Bible but this, in which any thing 
is said relating to this subject, it might be liable to a misconstruction, and 
considered as asserting that moral evil did in no sense originate from divine 
agency. But since so much is said in the Scriptures on this point, and it is 
so often and in so many ways expressly asserted, that God liardens the hearts 
of men, and makes them obstinate, turns their Jiearts to hate what they ought 
to love, and puts it into their hearts to do that which is sinful, &c., &c., (see 
System, VoL I, fourth chapter,) it is not reasonable to put a sense upon the 
words of James inconsistent with those numerous express declarations, and 
to which they cannot be reconciled without putting an unnatural, forced 
meaning upon them ; especially since, taken in their natural meaning, they 
convey no idea inconsistent with the divine holiness, and with the freedom 
of man, and his being wholly blamable for every deviation in his heart from 
the divine law ; and since they appear perfectly consistent with the words of 
James, upon a careful examination of them. 

" I have been greatly pleased witli the distinguished piety and zeal of 
Messrs. Carey and Thomas, and am glad to hear that they are of your senti- 
ments, which I before hoped, and even supposed. We wish them success, 
and doubtless thousands are praying for them in America. 

"I rejoice that any circumstances in England give you opportunity to 
spread your sentiments. I have, for some years, felt my heart united to Dr. 
Ryland, yourself, and Messrs. SutclifF and Pearce, in esteem and affection. 
May prosperity attend your attempts to support and propagate the truth ; to 
promote the cause of Christ and the salvation of sinners. I am your obliged, 
affectionate friend, S. Hopkins. 

" Reverend Andrew Fuller.'', 

There Avas one other point, on which Mr. Fuller held n contro- 
versial correspondence with Hopkins. It must have bec« grateful 
to our American divine, to perceive that the objections of his Eng- 
lish friend related, not to the doctrines of ability, active sin, per- 
sonally merited imputation, but to the less fundamental peculiarities 

MEMOIR. 227 

of the Hopkinsian faith. Referring to an epistle from the " mighty 
reasoner," Mr. Fuller writes : 

" Dr. Hopkins thinks that I have o^iven up the doctrine of disinterested love, 
because I have observed concerninir David, — when he said, ' Here I am, let 
him do with me as seemetli good in his sight,' — that he could not moan bj' 
this, If God have no Jove to my soul, I submit to be forever separated from 
him; for such submission is not required of any who lives under a dispensa- 
tion of mercy. — I have written an answer to Dr. Hopkins, in which I Iiave 
defended that position. He is a mighty reasoner; but on this subject I feel 
my ground. Should he furnish a reply, the correspondence may hereafter be 

The friendly correspondence of Hopkins with Dr. John Ryland, 
was as extensive as that with Andrew Fuller. It sometimes, though 
rarely, took the form of dispute ; but in all liis letters, Dr. Ryland 
never seems to controvert any of the more essential doctrines of 
Hopkins, such as those relating to the nature of sin, natural power, 
etc., but he criticizes the ambiguous propositions, that God is the 
author of moral evil, and that men should be willing to be lost. One 
of the last letters which Hopkins ever wrote, was a defence of his 
misunderstood opinions on these topics, against the criticisms of his 
very amiable friend.* The influence which Hopkins exerted upon 
" that disciple whom Jesus loved," is indicated in the following words 
of Robert Hall : 

"Tlie system of divinity to wliich he [Dr. Ryland] adhered, was moderate 
Calvinism, as modelled and explained by that prodigy of metaphysical acu- 
men, the celebrated Jonathan Edwards. For the writings of tliis great man, 
and those of his followers,! he formed a warm predilection very early, which 
continued ever after to exert a powerful influence on bis public ministry, as 
well as his theological inquiries and pursuits. It inspired him with the most 
elevated conceptions of the moral character of the Deity, to the display of 
which it taught him to refer the whole economy of providence and of grace, 
while he inculcated the indispensable duty of loving God, not merely for the 
benefits he bestows, but for what he is in liimself, as essential to true religion. 
Hence, he held in ablMrrencc those pretended religious affections which have 
their termination in self. Whether he attached an undue importance to tliese 
speculations, and rendered them occasionally too prominent in his public min- 
istrations, it is not for me to determine ; it is certain that they effectually se- 
cured him from the slightest tendency to Antinomianism, and contributed not 
a little to give purity and elevation to his religious views. The two extremes, 
against which, you are well aware, he was most solicitous to guard the reli- 
gious public were, Pelagian pride and Antinomian licentiousness ; the first of 
which he detested as an insult on the grace of the gospel ; the last, on the 
majesty and authority of the law." J 

* See the Letter at the end of vol. ii. of Hopkins's Works, new edition. 

t To some it may appear singular, that Mr. Hall should denominate the theology of 
these men, "moderate Calvinism." It wa.s " moderate Calvinism," in some of its rela- 
tions, and " high Calvinism," in other relations. 

t See "Funeral Sermon for Dr. Ryland," in Hall's Works, vol. i. pp. 220, 221. It 
could not have been expected that Mr. Hall, so sensitive to the graces of English style, 
should be an admirer of " the American divines of the Hopkinsian stamp. ' In 1800- 
1801, be uttered a sharp criticism upon them, " President Edwards always excepted," 
who was considered by Mr. Hall as bearing " the Hopkinsian siamp." Hall was 

228 MEMOIR. 

That Hopkins was one of the principal Edvvardeans who had this 
power over the English divine, is evident from several facts. Dr. 
Ryland was wont to express a higher reverence for our author, than 
for any other of President Edwards's disciples. He maintained a 
more instructive correspondence with Hopkins than with any Ameri- 
can divine. He was introduced by Hojikins to Dr. West and others, 
who continued, through their correspondence, to preserve, in their 
estimable friend, the same regard which had been cherished in him 
by the Newport divine, for our Edwardean theology. 

Q. Home Correspondence on Theology. 

More than two hundred of Hopkins'* letters to Dr. Buell, Dr. 
Davies, and New England ministers and laymen, are still preserved. 
A large number of these are theological. Some of them show his ac- 
tivity in exciting his brethren to those labors,, which have resulted in 
so much of spiritual benefit to our churches. As Robert Hall loved 
to set his " brother Fuller's troops in motion," so Hopkins gave im- 
pulse to minds which worked nobly for their race. The world are 
indebted to him for various animating letters, hke the following to 
Bellamy : 

" February 20, 1755. I find three neighboring ministers have a great es- 
teem o^ Mr. ./Jshlejfs sermons on Churches consisting of Saints ; and I believe 
it is generally thought, by those that oppose Mr. Edwards, to be the best thing 
that has been published, and even unanswerable. Mr. Williams's piece is 
wholly done with, and this is trumpeted up. Now, if Mr. Ashley's scheme ie 
built upon a nonentity^ {alias, upon a few of his peremptory assertions only,) 
and contains a number of palpable contradictions, would it not answer a good 
end to have this well made out before the world ? I think it may easily be 
done, if undertaken by one equal to the task ; and since Mr. Edwards will not 
deign so much as to read Ashley's performance, if I had the ordering of the 
matter, I would allot this business to you. — A sermon upon the same text, 
and in much the same method with Mr. Ashley's, with a few particular obser- 
vations upon Mr. Ashley's, in an Appendix, might perhaps answer the end 
well. If this is not the best method, then set Paulinus and Agrippa to dia- 

One more extract from his letters, will illustrate the abstruse and 
philosophical style in which some of them are written. The follow- 
ing is a part of a truly Edwardean communication to President 
Davies, of Princeton : 

" April 22, 1760. Reverend and honored Sir : As I was with the Rev. Mr. 
Bellamy about the time yours of the third of February came to hand, he gave 
me one of the questions you proposed to be considered and answered, and 
insisted on my writing my thoughts upon it, and sending them to you. This 

particularly severe against the excellent Dr. Spring, of Newburyport. But Mr. Morris, in 
recording this criticism, says : " It is not believed he [Mr. Hall] would have formed ex- 
acll}' the same opinion at a later period of life." See Morris's Recollections of Robert 
Hall, pp. 95, 96. 

MEMOIR. 229 

must be my apology for what I have now undertaken ; not, indeed, to give 
you any light and instruction, but for my own profit and the advantage of 
truth. For I consider myself as one of your pupils, to whom you give out 
questions, tliat by answering them they may improve their own minds, and 
, give you an opportunity and advantage to correct their mistakes, and commu- 
nicate the instruction you are able to give. 

" You query, ' Is liappiness so essential to tlie goodness of the universe, 
that it is by so much the more perfect or excellent, by how much the more 
happiness there is in it ? ' 

" I answer in the affirmative. Doubtless happiness is something in itself 
valuable, which is to be valued, desired, and sought, for its own sake. And 
if so, then the more there is of it tlie better ; and that system which has the 
most happiness in it, is the best and most perfect ; and tliat plan alone is abso- 
lutely perfect, in which there is provision for the liighest possible degree of 
h.ippiness. This appears to me undeniably true, unless there is something 
which is in itself of greater worth and itoportanco, and so more to be valued 
than happiness, witli which the greatest possible degree of happiness is incon- 
sistent ; so that the more happiness there is in the universe, the less there 
will be of that. On such a supposition, [the system is not the most perfect 
which admits the greatest degree of happiness, but the system is the most 
perfect] * which admits more of that which is more valuable and excellent 
tlian happiness, and which the greatest degree of happiness necessarily 

" But is there any such thing possible in nature ? Perhaps it will be said, 
Yes, — tlie glory of God is of more worth than the happiness of the creature, 
and therefore happiness must give way to this, and that system is most per- 
fect and excellent in which God's glory is most displayed, though it be at the 
expense of the creature's happiness ; for misery may he equally, yea, more 
illiislrative of the divine i^lory than happiness. 

" I answer, Though it may be true that, in order to the greatest display of 
God's glory, there must bo misery, yet it does not follow, that the brightest 
display of the divine glory is inconsistent with the greatest possible degree 
of happiness. It may be necessary, in order to the greatest possible degree 
of happiness, that there should be a great degree of misery ; yea, it may be 
necessary in order to the greatest possible degree of happiness, that there 
should be the greatest possible display of the divine glory. If the liappiness 
of the creature consists, summarily, in the knowledge and enjoyment of God, 
then the happiness of the creature will keep pace with the manifestations 
God makes of himself; so that God's glorifying himself in the highest possi- 
ble degree, is not only not inconsistent with, but necessary to, tlie greatest 
possible happiness, and they are both inseparably cemented together. 

" What is meant by the glory of God, or God's glorifying himself, but his 
communicating himself nd extra to the creature, — to the understanding and 
will of intelligences in knowledge, holiness, and happiness ? If so, then God's 
highest declarative glory and the greatest degree of holiness and happiness are 
insopvrably united. And [though] we are wont to speak of the glory of God 
and the happiness of the creature as distinct things, and as different and 
separate ends which God has in view in his works, yet, perhaps, in reality 
they are but one and the same, and therefore viewed as such by the divine, 
all-comprehending Mind. We shall see this point particularly considered, 
when the late President Edwards's Dissertation on the End of God in Cre- 
ating the World is published. 

" The way is now prepared for an answer to the last clause of your ques- 
tion, — ' May not the permission of sin be vindicated, without supposing it is 
subservient to the greater happiness ? ' 

" I answer in the negative, f^or it cannot be vindicated, without supposing 

Oae line of tlic manuscript is illeg^ible. 

230 ' MEMOIR. 

it is for the greater glory of God ; and this necessarily supposes that 'tis for 
the greater happiness. 

"Perhaps some will object to all this, that 'tis certain that there is not so 
much happiness in the universe as there might have been ; and, therefore, 
if the more happiness there is, the more perfect and excellent it is, the uni-. 
verse is not so perfect and excellent as it might have been. God might have 
made a thousand intelligences to behold his glory and be happy in communi- 
cations from him, wliere there is one now ; and then there would have been 
a thousand times as much happiness, as now there is or ever will be. Now, 
if the more happiness there is, the more perfect and excellent the universe is, 
why has not God created more to be happy? Why does he confine Jiimself 
to so small a number ? 

" Answer I. The same objection may be made to the hypothesis, that the 
more God is glorified, the more perfect and eS;cellent the universe is, and that 
this is sought as distinct from and inconsistent with the greatest happiness. 
It may be said, that God has not glorified himself so much as he might ; for 
he might have made a thousand worlds where ho has made one, and so have 
made much greater displays of his own glory. 

"Answer II. This objection must be groundless and absurd, it being no 
more of an objection against God's creating no more intelligences to be happy 
than he has, than it %vould be against God's creating no more, if he had cre- 
ated millions of millions M'here he has one. The question might still be asked, 
with as much propriety as now it is, Wliy did he not create more ? This is 
a demand which cannot be satisfied ; for, I may say, God could not create so 
many, but that more might have been created. The question would still re- 
main. Why did he not create more ? Now, that objection whicli is made 
against a particular case, as being so rather thau otherwise, is certainly frivo- 
lous, which equally lies against all other supposable cases. 'Tis a senseless 
question, which demands why God did not create a thousand intelligences 
where he has one, when, if he had, there would be just as much reason to 
object against his creating no more, and to ask why he did not create a 
million, — and so on, m infinitum. 

" In order to the greatest display of God's glory, and the highest possible 
degree of happiness, there must (notwithstanding any thing we know) be a 
certain precise number of happy creatures, with such capacities and in sucfi 
circumstances. And as infinite Avi.sdom was perfectly able to determine this, 
doubtless that very number, those very capacities and circumstances, have 
been pitched upon by God, which will in the best and highest degree answer 
this end and produce the greatest possible happiness ; or, in other words, by 
which God may communicate himself in the best and fullest manner, and to 
the highest possible degree. 

"Mr. T. Edwards informs me, that you desire a short sketch of President 
Edwards's private life. This is a very difficult task, and I think it quite im- 
possible for me to do justice to the memory of that great and eminently pious 
man, in such an attempt ; yet perhaps silence, in such a case, would be yet 
greater injustice. — [Mr. Hopkins here gives a lengthened account of Ed- 
wards's religious and social habits.] 

" The hope and joy of many, which were greatly raised upon Mr. Edwards's 
being invested with the presidency of Nassau Hall, were soon damped by his 
sudden departure. But God, in his great goodness, has caused a new day to 
dawn. I shall doubtless speak the sentiments of all the greatest and best 
friends to Mr. Edwards and the interests of the college, when I say that the 
vacancy is supplied more to their satisfaction than [it] could have been in any 
other person. And I cannot but congratulate you, worthy sir, on your being 
placed in this station so much to the general acceptance of the public, and of 
the college in particular ; in which you have opportunity to improve your tal- 
ents to such noble purposes. May it be seen that you have caught the falling 
mantle, and [may it] bo said, ' The spirit (yea, a double portion of the spirit) 

MEMOIR, 231 

of Elijah doth rest on Elisha ! ' May you be enabled to answer the expecta- 
tions of all the friends of Zion, and become a most extensive blessing to the 
church of Christ." 

R. • Collected Works. 

Nearly all the published works of Dr. Hopkins, comprising more 
than two thousand octavo pages, were reprinted in 1852, by the Doc- 
trinal Tract and Book Society. The writings not reprinted by the 
Society, are his four Biographies, his "Animadversions on Mr. Hart's 
Late Dialogue," and the larger part of his essays for the periodi- 
cals. It is a fitting tribute^to the memory of this philanthropist, that 
a Society founded by his reverential disciples, and aided by one of 
his estimable grandsons, should rise up to fulfil a prophecy which 
he once intimated in his modest way : " I still believe, [that my 
system] is, in the main, right. Dr. Cotton Mather, who published 
sixty books or more, which had not a very current sale, said to his 
printer, ' After I am dead, they will read my books.' " 


The last quotation suggests the fact, that with all the modesty of 
our author, he had a manly faith in his own creed ; and with all his 
confidence in that creed as a whole, he believed and hoped that his 
successors would make improvements upon it. " There is no reason 
to doubt," he says in his seventy-second year, " that light will so 
increase in the church, and men Avill be raised up, who will make 
such advances in opening the Scripture and in the knowledge of 
divine truth, that what is now done and written will be so far super- 
seded as to appear impei'fect and inconsiderable, compared with that 
superior light, with which the church will then be blessed." * It is 
honorable for the leader of a school to avow, after a life of suffering 
for his faith, that his own scheme is not perfect, and that in the 
millennium a church will arise, " which will have all that is good, 
right, and excellent in the different denominations and churches that 
exist now or have been, and will renounce all the superstitions and 
corruptions, in princijjle or practice, which have taken place."! In 
his seventy-seventh year, this veteran in theology said to his friend 
Dr. Ryland : 

" As to my Avritings, I have not the least doubt of the truth and importance 
of most of the sentiments I have published, but do not pretend to be certain 
that every thing I have proposed is true, or that I have explained and vindi- 
cated every doctrine in the best manner. I do not wish any one to receive 
what I have written implicitly ; but think I have a right to be heard without 
prejudice and with candor. I thank you for the pains you have taken to effect 

* Preface to his System. 

t Hopkins's Works, vol. ii. p. 75. 


this.* It is with pleasure I expect to have all the mistakes and errors in my 
publications detected and exploded ; and all the truth contained in them set 
in a much clearer and more advantageous light ; and great advances made, 
far beyond what I have attained, or even all the divines who have written." 

In his extreme old age, he was " asked by a clergyman, whetlier, 
if he should write his System over again, he would not make some 
alterations in it. He replied, ' I do not arrogate to myself infalli- 
bility, and perhaps some things in it might be altered to advantage.' 
' But would you,' continued the clergyman, ' make any alteration in 
the sentiments ? ' Raising his withered arm, and kindling with the 
glow of youthful energy, he brought it down with a solemn and 
emphatic — ' No : I am ivilluig to rest my %ul on than forcvci-.'' " t 

About two years before his death, he said to his people, in a ser- 
mon : 

" I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God, so far as 

I have understood what it was Some of the doctrines which I have 

preached and published have been opposed from the press and the pulpit, and 
more privately, and have not been understood, and [have been] represented as 
horrible and mischievous, tending to destroy all true religion, &c. But all this 
has no impression on me, to excite the least doubt of the truth of the doctrines 
so opposed, or to incline me to cease to assert and vindicate them. I have 
such clear and full conviction, and unshaken confidence, that the doctrines 
which I have for a long course of years preached and maintained, are the truths 
contained in the Bible, that I stand as a brazen wall, unhurt, and not moved 
by all the shafts of opposition and reproach which have been levelled at me, 
and the system of truth and religion which I have espoused ; being assured 
that it will stand forever ; and certain beyond a doubt, from Scripture, reason, 
and experience, that a cordial belief and love of these truths, with religious 
exercises and conduct agreeable to them, is connected with salvation, and is 
a sufficient ground of support and comfort under the gToatest trials, and in 
the nearest view of death and eternity. On this foundation I cheerfully rest 
my eternal interest, which indeed is infinite, and invite all to do the same." \ 

The discourse from which the preceding paragraph is taken, was 
published a icw weeks before its author's death. It is eminently 
characteristic of him. A man so modest and lowly must have had a 
firm confidence in the truth and the worth of his speculations, or he 
would not have dared to preach, still less to publish, a sermon en- 
titled " The Author's Farewell to the World." An equally interest- 
ing illustration of the same faith overpowering his ])ersonal diffidence, 
is seen in the Dedication of his Treatise on the Millennium. It is 
dedicated " To the People who shall live in the Days of the Mil- 
lennium ; " and it commences thus : 

" Hail, ye happy People, highly favored of the Lord. To you the following 
treatise on the Millennium is dedicated, as you will live in that happy era, 

* Dr. Ryland had exerted himself much to circulate Hopkins's System and his other 
works, in England. 

t Ferguson's Memoir, p. 153. See also Patten's Reminiscences, Introduction, po. 
xi. xii. 

i See Hopkins's Works, vol. iii. pp. 763, 769. 


and enjoy the good of it in a much higher degree than it can now be enjoyed 
in the prospect of it ; and that you may kno^, if this book shall be conveyed 
down to your time, what is now thought of you, and of the happy day in which 
you will come on the stage of life. You will be able to see the mistakes 
which arc now made on this iiead ; and liow far what is advanced here is 
agreeable to that which is noted in the Scripture of truth, and a true and 
proper description of the events which are to take place, and to rectify every 
mistake. All is therefore humbly submitted to your better judgment." 

This " Dedication to the Millenarians " was condemned by Dr. 
Jonathan Edwards, as the reader has perceived on p. 207 above. It 
is, however, as an exhibition of a modest man's assurance, so pecu- 
liar that it would have been a pity to expunge it. 



Throughout this Memoir many expressions have been made, in- 
dicating the deference with which Mr. Hopkins was treated by some 
of his contemporaries. Without recurring to those expressions, we 
will simply refer to a few other testimonies which were given in favor 
of this much injui*ed man. 

At a time when a doctorate of divinity meant something, Mr. 
Hopkins received that honor from Brown University. It was given 
him in 1790, at the same time that the degree of " doctor of laws " 
was conferred by the same university upon George Wasliington. It 
was conferred during the presidency of Dr. Manning, who was not 
on terms of personal friendship with the leading Congregationalists 
of Newport. But the excellence of Mr. Hopkins's character secured 
the esteem of all candid men. 

Dr. Patten narrates the following incident : 

" Some time after Dr. Hopkins Iiad sent his manuscript ' System of Divinity,' 
to be printed, he was obliged to go to Boston to inspect the press. While 
there. Dr. Clarke, who had been the colleague and was then the successor of 
Dr. Chauncy, invited him to preach the Thursday lecture for him. Dr. H. 
declined. ' Why, are you not in health ? ' ' Yes, sir.' ' Why then,' replied 
Dr. Clarke, with urgency, ' do you decline ? ' ' Since you are so candid as to 
wish me to preach, [said Dr. Hopkins,] I will tell you the reason. My manner 
is not polished, and my doctrines do not agree with yours, and I cannot accom- 
modate myself to the occasion as your substitute ; and if I preach at all, it 
must be as I am accustomed to preach in my own pulpit, and this, if it should 
not be a mortification to you, might bring on you some reproach.' ' I do not 
wish,' replied Dr. Clarke, ' that you should attempt to accommodate yourself 
to any one ; you cannot gratify me more than to preacli your own doctrines, 
in your own way. This is precisely what I wish.' ' Then,' said Dr. H., ' I 
will preach.' It providentially happened, that a Scotch gentleman of Rox- 
bury, [nearly related to] Governor Sumner's wife, was at the lecture. On 
leaving the house, he expressed strong approbation of the preacher ; said he 
was such a looking man and such a preacher as he had been accustomed to 
hear in Scotland ; and on learning his name, and that he had a small and pre- 

234 MEMOIR. 

carious salary, made him a present, to the amount, it is believed, of five or six 
hundred dollars." * 

The reputation which Dr. Hopkins's works acquired in Great Brit- 
ain, in the day when men asked, "Who reads an American book? " — 
was a sign of their intrinsic value. Such men as Pearce, Thomson, 
Carey, Sutclift", expressed in various ways their regard for the " pious 
metaphysician." Tlie Earl of Buchan sent an elegant portrait of 
himself, as " a token of his warm attachment," to Dr. Hopkins. 
There were more subscribers for his System in Great Britain, than 
among all the " white inhabitants " of Rhode Island. 

A signal honor which Dr. Hopkins has received, is the esteem of 
all his theological ojiposers who were personally acquainted with him. 
No divine in this country, has felt a greater repugnance than Dr. 
Channing, to our author's creed ; and the encomiums of Channing 
were elicited simply by tlie fact, that he kneiv the character of the 
man who was regarded as so much better than his creed. By whom 
was the New Divinity more steadfastly opposed, during the last cen- 
tury, than by President Stiles 1 But in the very height of his 
opposition to it, he discloses his own and the general opinion, that 
Hopkins was both a great and a good man. His statements are 
instructive, even when they are incorrect. They illustrate the char- 
acter of the resistance, which was made to what he calls " the 
Eurelcas of New Divinity." In the satirical style of the following 
extract from his Literary Diary, he reveals much that is honorable 
to his chief opponent : 

" August 10, 1787. Reverend Messrs. Hopkins, West, Amzi Lewis, Fow- 
ler, and some few other New Divinity gentlemen, are beginning to hold, tliat 
the faith of parents in the act of baptismal dedication insures grace and real 
holiness to baptized children. Reverend Messrs. Sanford, (brother-in-law of 
Mr. Hopkins,) Emmons, Smalley, Foster, and some others, are beginning to 
concur with Mr. Bacon in denying a real vicarious suffering in Christ's atone- 
ment. They hold atonement, but deny it in the orthodox and Calvinistic 
sense. Messrs. Hopkins, West, &c., differ from them, and hold the atonement 
in the just, scriptural sense. The New Divinity gentlemen are getting into 
confusion, and running into different sentiments. They are generally giving 
up the doctrine of imputation, both in original sin, and in justification. They 
are dropping and leaving off the diction of ' love to being in general,' as de- 
scribing the nature of holiness ; and some of them, receding from disinterested 
benevolence, are going into the idea, that all holy motive operates as termi- 
nating in personal happiness, while others are still willing to be danmed for 
the glory of God and tbe good of tlie universe. 

" They (New Divinity gentlemen) perceive some of the pillars are removed, 
and others shaken and falling ; President Edwards has been dead twenty-nine 
years, or a generation ; Dr. Bellamy is broken down, both body and mind, 
with a paralytic shock, and can dictate and domineer no more ; Mr. Hopkins 
still continues, but past his force, having been somewhat affected by a fit and 
nervous debilitation ; Mr. West is declining in health, and, besides, was never 
felt so strong rods as the others. It has been the to7i, to direct students in 

* Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 130-132. 

MEMOIR. 235 

divinity, these thirty years past, to read the Bible, President Edwards, Dr. 
Bellamy, and Mr. Hopkins's writinors ; — and this was a pretty good suffi- 
ciency of reading. But now the younger class, but yet in full vigor, suppose 
they see further than these oracles, and are disposed to become oracles them- 
selves, and wish to write tiieology and have their books come into vogue. 
The very New Divinity gentlemen say, they perceive a disposition among 
several of their brethren to struggle for preeminence ; — particularly Dr. Ed- 
w;irds, Mr. Trumbull, Mr. Smalloy, Mr. Judson, Mr. Spring, Mr. Robinson,* 
Mr. Strong of Hartford, Mr. Dwight, Mr. Emmons, and others. They all 
want to be Luthers. But they will none of them be equal to those strong 
roasoners, President Edwards and ]\Ir. Hopkins. 

" President Edwards's valuable writings in another generation will pass- 
into as transient notice, perhaps, as scarce above oblivion, as Willard, or 
Twiss, or Norton ; and when posterity occasionally comes across them in the 
rubbish of libraries, the rare characters who may read and be pleased with 
them, will be looked upon as singular and whimsical, as in these days are 
admirers of Suarez, Aquinas, or Dion. Areopagita." f 

The progress of his opinions vvas still more honorable to Hop- 
kins, than were the respectful allusions of his antagonists. Can any 
one doubt, that he has been a means of raising the standard of theol- 
ogy among us, far above that which would have been attained under 
the influence of his opponents ? Hundreds of New England clergy- 
men have made, substantially, the same remark which has been re- 
peated by Professor Stuart : " After reading Dr. Hopkins's System 
of Divinity, a number of President Edwards's Treatises, several of 
Andrew Fuller's, a part of Ridgley's Body of Divinity, and some of 
Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History, and a* part of Prideaux's Connec- 
tion, I was examined and licensed to preach, by the neighboring 
Association of Ministers." | This relation of Hopkins to the clergy 
of New England, gave him an influence over them which is now too 
much forgotten. 

The following letter to one of his best friends illustrates the hon- 
est, religious spirit of our author, his freedom from personal aims in 

* A slron^-niinclcd man, fatlicr of Professor Robinson, the author of ••' Researches,"' 

t Stilos's Literary Diary. It is well known that the clergymen here mentioned by 
Dr. Stiles, ditTered in some respects from the Newport divine, for they were independent 
thinkers ; yet they were all termed Hopkinsians, in that day, and enjoyed the confidence 
of Hopkins himself. — It ought to be understood, that several of the clergymen whom 
Dr. Stiles thus compared with Hopkins, were at that time very young' men. 

i The course here specified was marked out by President Dwight. As Dr. Stiles, in 
llie preceding extract, and as Dr. Hopkins, in his letters, have both mentioned the name 
of Dwight iu connection with the New DivinitN', it may be proper to say, that this great 
man was in early life so much in favor of the Hopkinsian peculiarities, that he wrote an 
essay to prove man's obligation to be willing to be lost, if the glory of God should re- 
quire the sacrifice. Subsequently, however, he burned the manuscript. Dr. Hopkins 
often writes in a eulogistic style, about "young Dwight." As late as 1798, he says: 
'• I think Dr. Dwight's discourse to the citizens of New Haven, on the fourth of Julv, to 
be a mnsterlij performance. ; in which he has outdone himself, and all the many publica- 
tions of orations, &c., on that day. I wish it may have another edition, if not more." — 
It was a noble trait of Hopkins, that he was inclined, in his old age, to speak well of 
young men, and had disciplined himself, as very few others have done, to say with com- 
posure, " He must increase, but I must decrease." 



his theological studies, his full assurance that Ho})kin.sianism is the 
same in essence with Edwardeanism, and his modest, unselfish grat- 
itude for the triumjih of those principles which he was foremost in 
defending, and with which his interests were hound up. 

To Reverend Andrew Fuller. — " Newport, October 15, 1790. Dear Sir : I 
thank you for your letter of August 12, which came to hg-nd on the twelfth 
instant, and brings much agreeable intelligence. That concerning Mr. 
Pearce is grievous, as it represents him as near to death ; since the loss of 
such an excellent man, in the prime of life, is great, and appears to us very 
undesirable. Yet thei-e is ground of consolation in this, tliat Clnist has raised 
up such a man, and continued him so long, and done so much by liim, and he 
is now going to receive a rich reward. And the Lord is able to raise up 
many more accomplished and excellent men, and will do it when he shall 
want them, for which we have the greatest encouragement as well as a divine 
command to pray ; to which the removal of this our dear and worthy friend is 
a strong incitement. My heart has been in a sensible and peculiar degree 
united to Mr. Pearce, since I saw his writings and perceived his connection 
with you. Dr. Ryland, &c. 

" Since I first heard of Carey and Thomas, I was pleased Avith their charac- 
ter, — that of Carey especially, — and have had fond hopes that great things 
will be done by them, and those who may be added to them. I. rejoice in 
the zeal and liberality of the people in promoting that design. May the 
blessing of thousands who are ready to perish come on you and them. I yet 
hope the report of the ship Duff being taken by the French will prove not 
true. But if it prove true, we have stable and sufficient ground of support 
and consolation in the exalted Head of the Church, who orders all things, all 
events, from the greatest to the smallest, in the most Avise and best manner, 
so as to answer his own ends exactly ; by which he will be glorified in tlie 
highest degree, and the greatest possible good to the nniverso will be effected. 
On this ground we stand firm and unshaken, in the midst of all the evils and 
revolutions which surround us, and are able to rejoice always. 

"I am pleased to hear that Edwardean principles are gaining ground and 
spreading, as I am certain that every contrary scheme of principles [is irrec- 
oncilable with] the Bible, and that all or most of the late remarkable exer- 
tions to send missionaries among the heathen, and propagate the gospel 
among others in Europe and America, have originated in a poor shoemaker, 
from having imbibed these principles. I believe all the missionary societies 
lately formed in America, owe their rise to those formed in England, and their 
extraordinary exertions. There are five of these societies now in Ncav York, 
Connecticut, and Massachusetts States, the leaders in all which, except one, 
(if that is to be excepted,) are Edwardeans. The Massachusetts Society, 
which has been formed this year, consists wholly of Edwardeans, which is 
[likely] to increase and flourish.* That in Connecticut consists of the Gen- 
eral Association of Ministers, chosen annually from each of the particular 
Associations in the State, They have chosen twelve trustees, and these are 
to be chosen yearly, to manage the business of the society in their recess, 
and are accountable to them. The trustees consist of sLx m-inisters and as 
many laymen. The trustees they have chosen this year are all Edwardeans, 
which is an evidence, among many others, that men of these principles pre- 
vail, and are esteemed. 

" These principles are gaining ground fast in New England. More mep 
of these principles are ordained in churches than others, and they are the 
most popular preachers. And some of those who have been prejudiced against 
these principles and opposed them, begin now to think more favorably of 
them, and to own that many Edwardeans are men of the best abilities. And 

* See p. 64 of this Memoir. 

MEMOIR. 237 

well may they allow this, when we have Drs. West, Edwards, Dwight, Trum- 
bull, Emmons, Messrs. Hart, Stronof, Spring, Backus, &c., &c., &c. 

" There are four presidents of colleges who are Edwardeans — Dr. Edwards, 
of Union College, in Schenectady, sixteen miles north-west of Albany, wliich 
is richly endowed ; Dr. Dwight, of Yale College, in New Haven ; Mr. Fitch, 
of Williams College, in Williamstown, Berkshire County, Massachusetts ; 
Mr. Balch, of Greenville College, in the new State of Tennessee, west of 
the Carol inas. From these seminaries, we may reasonably hope, there will 
issue numbers of pious young men of good principles, to supply our vacant 
churches ; as many have already come forth from Yale, Dartmouth, and Provi- 
dence Colleges, and are settled in the ministry, with a number of other pious 
men who have not had a public education. 

" But what appears most favorable now to the spread of our principles and 
of true religion, is a great and remarkable revival of religion, which is spread 
wider and has risen higher than any thing of the kind has done in America, 
for above fifty years. It has taken place in the west and north-west parts of 
Connecticut, and in the States of New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, 
and Vermont. It is said to be in above one liundred towns and parishes. 
There appears to be little or no enthusiasm. It goes on in a still, but strong 
and energetic manner. Many thousands have been tlie subjects of deep and 
strong convictions, and great numbers are hopefully converted. And it is to 
be remarked, that this revival has taken place in almost all, if not in every 
instance, under tlie preaching of those ministers who have embraced Edward- 
can principles. We hope it is yet on the increase, and will bear all before it. 

" As to the Baptists, they have appeared to increase of late years in many 
places in America ; but they have generally had a tincture of enthusiasm and 
Antinomianism, and believe that all true faith is an appropriuiing faith, i. e., it 
is a belief that Christ died for me, &c., or tliat this is necessarily implied in 
saving faith. Hence, their converts generally become so by first believing 
that they shall be saved, or to that purpose, and many pass for converts 
among them of whom I much doubt. But there is a prospect that there will 
be a favorable revolution of principles among them, and it is, indeed, already 
begun. I know of eight or ten ministers of that denomination who discard 
the principles of Dr. Gill, &c., and have imbibed those of Edwards. Some 
of them have but lately risen on the stag.e, and are men of good abilities and 
hopeful piety. I am glad you are writing on the subject you mention. If I 
should live till it can come to America, 1 hope for the pleasure and profit of 
reading it. If you have not seen Strong, entitled Benevolence and Misery, I 
shall desire Mr. Davis, of New York, to send it to Dr. Ryland or you. 

" As to myself, I was taken with a paralytic stroke last January, which 
affected the limbs of my right side and my speech, so that I was unable to 
perform any public service for some months ; but I am now most mercifully 
recovered, so that I am able to walk and to preach, and to write thus after a 
sort with difficulty ; but my dearest partner will transcribe it before it goes 
to you. I was seventy-eight years old the last month, and do not expect to 
continue much longer in the body, uor do I desire it. I have a pleasing hope 
of a house not made with hands, eternpJ in the heavens ; where I also hope to 
see you. — Mrs. Hopkins is my second wife, and is seventeen years younger 
than I am. She will transcribe this, with a heart full of love to you and your 
dear friends. I am yours in the strongest bonds, S. Hopkins." 

The preceding letter was written in the seventy-ninth year of the 
author's life. In the seventy-fifth year he writes,: 

" About forty years ago, there were but few, perhaps not more than four or 
five, who espoused the sentiments which since have been called Edwardcan, 
and New Divimty ; and since, after some improvement was made upon them, 
Hop/dntonian, or Hopkinsian sentunents. But these sentiments have so spread 

238 MEMOIR. 

since that time among ministers, especially those who have since come on the 
stage, that there are now more than one hundred in the ministry who espouse 
the same sentiments, in the United States of America. And the number ap- 
pears to be fast increasing, and these sentiments appear to be coming more 
and more into credit, and are better understood, and the odium which was cast 
on them and those who preached them, is greatly subsided." * 

It appears, then, that about the year 1756, there were, in our land, 
four or five Edvvardean clergynien ; in 1773, tliere were forty or fifty; t 
and in 1796, there were more than a hundred. But the spirit of the 
New Divinity was in the hearts of thousands, who did not favor it in 
all its forms. The term, " Hopkinsian," soon became the common 
designation of those evangelical or orthodox divines who favored the 
doctrines of general atojiement, natural abihty, the active nature of 
all holiness and sin, and the justice of God in imputing to men none 
but their own personal transgressions. Throughout some parts of 
the land, Hopkinsianism became a synonyme for New England 
divinity, and one of its decided antagonists said in 1817, that " a 
very large majority of the professors of religion in the United States, 
are either Hojjkinsians or entire Arminians, and as such, opposed to 
the doctrine of a definite atonement." | Now the bare fact, that 
the name Hopkinsian has been applied to such multitudes of en- 
terprising Christians, is one among many signs of the power which 
Hopkins has exerted, directly or indirectly, on men who disowned 
some of his peculiar tenets. 


In his later years, our indefatigable pastor recommenced, with 
some modification, an exercise which he instituted at the begin- 
ning of his pastoral life at Newport. § It was a Socratic conversa- 
tion, for which he seems to have been singularly adapted. One of 
his successors in the ministry || says of him : " There is no doubt 
that he was incapable of appearing to advantage in any party of 
brilliants, but in a social circle of intelligent friends, he was cheerful, 
interesting, incomparable. And this excellence of the Doctor in- 
creased as he advanced in life." He is uniformly represented by his 

* Sketches, pp. 102, 103. 

t See p. 129 of this Memoir. — In 1777, Dr. Edwards, of New Haven, informed Dr. 
Stiles, that there were three parties among the clergy of Connecticut : " the Arminians, 
who he said were a small party ; the New Divinilij i;;ciitl<'7nen, of whom he said he was 
called one, — who were larger, he said, but still small; and the main body of the minis- 
ters, which he said were Calvinistic." — The friends of the New Divinity called them- 
selves not Calviiiists, so rtiuch as " consistent Calvinists." 

X See " A Historical Sketch of Opinions on the Atonement," etc., by James R. Will- 
son, A. M., pp. 180, 184, 188, 196, 197, 198, 210, 215. 

$ See p. 84 of this Memoir. 

II Rev. Dr. Hitchcock, who was ordained at Newport in the fourteenth year after the 
death of Hopkins. 

MEMOIR. 239 

Christian admirers, as having shone most of all in famihar discourse 
on the themes of rohgious experience. And the above-named ex- 
ercise, which he conducted in his old age witii peculiar comfort to 
himself, and with an interest still remembered by many who enjoyed 
it, illustrates this representation. It is thus described by one who 
often attended it : 

" Among the occasional services of Dr. H. Avas a conference meeting at 
his own house. This meeting was strictly a conference, and was highly in- 
teresting and useful. [It was] conducted in the following manner. After 
singing and prayer, one or two present collected in writing, questions from as 
many as desired tlie resolution of any doubt, or the discussion of any subject, 
and brouglit the papers and laid them on tiie table before Dr. H. He read 
them, and then taking the first, he requested several of the most judicious 
persons to express their opinion of it in succession. If he agreed with either 
of them, he wovdd state it and give his reasons for if. If he differed from the 
whole, he would express his opinion either by a quotation from some writer, 
or by making a statement with an illustration. 

"To adduce an instance. One evening tliere was this question, 'What i-^ 
the order of exercises, when a soul is converted to God .^ ' One to whom il 
Tfas referred, o,nswered, 'When a sinner is convinced of sin, he always at- 
tempts to recommend himself by works of righteousness; finding this in- 
effectual, and under apprehensions of punisliment, he looks to Christ for 
pardon, and in tins way finds acceptance and peace. When it came to Dr. 
H., he observed, ' The sinner must be convinced of sin, and as sin is a tran-;- 
gression of the law, he is arraigned before God as lawgiver and judofe. It is 
necessary for him to approve of the law, though he be condemned by it ; for 
it is impossible tliat he should repent of having transgressed the law, while he 
indulges enmity to the law, or to God as lawgiver, and it is impossible for 
him to exercise true faith in Christ, as He came not to abolish but to honor 
the law. To hope in Christ for pardon, and then approve of God and of the 
law because one's sins are forgiven, is productive of false peace, and is a de- 
lusion. It is vvliolly a selfish act. The condition of the sinner wjien the law 
is before him is very trying and distressing. It is a point at which his lieart 
naturally rises in the greatest enmity against God. But when he is brought 
to approve of the law, he finds that God, instead of executing judgment, ex- 
ercises mercy. He is prepared to see the provision made for his salvation 
by Jesus Christ, and he embraces Him with inexpressible joy. This,' said 
Dr. H., ' as appears from the Scriptures and the nature of the case, must be 
the order of the exercises, though many true converts are not conscious of it. 
Especially the act of submission may be followed so instantaneously with the 
experience of pardon, that it m;iy be overlooked ; but it has been experienced, 
and is of essential importance in the case.' " * 

Among the papers of Dr. Hopkins is found still another answer, 
which appears to have been given to another question proposed at 
this conference. It illustrates the philosophical style of his practical 

" IIow can wo pray to an unchanrreahle God, who has already determined 
what he will do, and what shall be in every instance, and will not alter any 

" Answer. Many things may be said to show the reasonableness and im- 
portance of prayer to an unchangeable God; and they will offer tuemselves 

* Patten's Reminiscences, pp. 108-111. 

240 MEMOIR. 

to any considerate, pious person, almost at first thought. But these shall not 
be mentioned now. We will rather attend to the case of a person who, 
when on his knees in his devotions, has this thought impressed on his mind 
of God's unchangeable purposes, so as to put a stop to his proceeding to put 
up any petition. What shall he do ? 

" Answer. Let him not tr}' to pray, nor give over his devotions. Let all be 
turned into praise, giving glory to God, and rejoicing that he does reign, and 
does what he pleases in heaven and earth, — that all tilings are unchangeably 
fixed by infinite wisdom and goodness, &.c., &c. This will be the natural 
effect of such a view and impression, if it be from God. If it be a suggestion 
from Satan, it is with a design to interrupt and put a stop to devotion ; and to 
improve it in the manner above mentioned, will be the most direct and 
effectual way to oppose and defeat him. 

"The same direction may be given if it be suggested to a person, that the 
p;oodness of God is so infinitely great, and particularly so great toward his chil- 
dren, that there is no need of asking him to do any thing for them ; yea, it 
will be wicked arrogance to do it, as it must arise from a doubt of his good- 
ness, and a thought of oirrselves as more kind to them than he is, so that there 
IS need of our pJcadiiif^ with him on their behalf, &c. If this suggestion stop 
him in his petitions for his Christian friends, then let his devotions be imme- 
diately turned into thanksgiving to God, and praises for his goodness. And 
this is the likeliest way to prepare his mind to return to his petitions and 

Thus did the aged divine realize the idea, that the church is a 
school and the Christian is a student. He could not have been a 
popular minister, unless in an uncommonly meditative age. 


And had the hero of all these wars, political and theological, any 
domestic relations ? What time had he for his family 1 We have 
already noticed* the afflictive state of his wife's health, the death of 
all his daughters, and of one son, and the dispersion of his four sur- 
viving children. After lingering twenty years in a state of scrofulous 
consumption, his wife was relieved from all her pains, in the sixty- 
eighth year of her age. She had been advised to leave the sea air 
of Rhode Island, for the sake of gaining strength among her native 
hills. With a hope of this gain, her husband accompanied her to 
his former parish, in May, 1793; but she died on the last day of the 
ensuing August. She now lies buried among her children and 
children's children, in the beautiful village of Great Barrington. 

As early at least as 1764, Mr. Hopkins had met Miss Elizabeth West 
in the Praying Circle of the Old South Chiu'ch, Boston. He then 
formed, and ever afterward retained, an exalted opinion of her 
Christian character. Slie left Boston, her native town, for the coun- 
try during the revolutionary war, and then became acquainted with 
some of the families who had left Newport at the same time. They 
persuaded her to establish, after the war, a boarding school at 

* See Section xvi. 

MEMOIR. 241 

Newport. She was successful in this school, having pupils from 
Norwich, New London, and from some of the first families on Rhode 
Island. She was a faithful member of the Osborn Society. She 
was a divine. Few masters of the New Divinity had a more intelli- 
gent conviction of its truth, than she. Some of her letters to Dr. 
Hart and Dr. West, are worthy of a theological veteran. She had a 
depth of Christian experience commending her to the friendship of 
her pastor. She taught her school in his house, during the later 
months of her remaining a teacher. On the fourteenth of Septem- 
ber, 1794, she was married to him. The ceremony, he says, " was 
performed in public, on tlie Sabbath, by Mr. Patten, in the morning, 
before the public exercises began. Our proceeding, and the manner 
in which it was done, has had the approbation of all my friends, and 
of the whole congregation, so far as I can learn." At the lime of 
her marriage, she was fifty-five years of age, and he was seventy- 
three. They had been acquainted in prayer meetings, more than 
thirty years. After his death, as during his life, she manifested the 
deepest interest in his theological opinions. Her criticisms on the 
faulty style in which tiie Sketches of her husband were prepai'ed by 
Dr. West, and subs>equently printed, indicate sterling sense aiid good 
taste. Some of her friends advised an abridgment of her husband's 
System of Divinity, for the second edition, in 1811. "But no," she 
writes ; " .an abridged work often loses its importance and sinks into 
oblivion. If the public will not be at the expense of printing it as it 
/>■, let them do without it till the millennium ; then it will be read and 
published with avidity. If I could gain ever so much, (as things 
appear now,) I would not give my voice in favor of abridgment." 
She passed a widowhood of uncommon saintliness, feeling ' desolate, 
yet trusting in God, and continuing in supplications and prayers 
night and day.' She died in Taunton, Massachusetts, April 9, 1814, 
at the age of seventy-five years.* There is something pleasing in 
the theological style of her husband, when he speaks of himself as 
" peculiarly happy in finding such a wife," and adds : " I esteem it 
as one of the greatest favors of my life, to have such a companion in 
my advanced years, in whose prudence, good family economy, friend- 
ship, and benevolent care I can confide ; and who is to me the first 
object among creatures, of the love of esteem, benevolence, com- 
placency, and gratitude." t 

While discussing tlie doctrine of Decrees, in his System of Theol- 
ogy, Dr. Hopkins has the following illustration : " My neighbor now 
comes into my study, and asks, whether a table he has made for me 

* She now lies buried in Taunton, where, after all her solicitude about the style of 
her husband's Works, an ungrammalinU inscription is yet suffered to deface her g-rave- 
slone. — It had been her request to bo buried at the side of her husband, at Newport, 
but the malignant nature of her disease forbade the removal of her remains 

t Sketches, etc., pp. 03, 84. 

242 MEMOIR. 

can be introduced and have room here. I ask liim what is the 
length and breadth of it. He answers, it is three yards square. I 
tell him, it can then be of no use to me, nor can it be introduced. 
He is confident [that] I am mistaken. And after some dispute, we 
at length conclude to take a common measure and apply it to the 
table, and to my door and study. Upon this the matter is soon de- 
cided, and it is found that the former agrees exactly with the latter; 
for his yardstick was found to be but twelve inches long." * 

Our author was certainly right in querying about the admission of 
such a table into his study chamber ; for that room, in which he 
wrote his System of Divinity and corresponded with an African 
poetess, and entertained Dr. Bellamy, and Dr. Channing, President 
Stiles and Newport Gardner, was only eleven feet eight inches 
long, nine feet seven inches wide, seven feet three inches high ; and 
was entered by a door twenty-six inches in width ; a room rather 
circumscribed for a man who weighed two hundred and twenty 
pounds. That he must have sat at a narrow table, is self-evident. 
We can almost see him leaning over his familiar desk, and listening 
to the roar of the ocean, and writing such words as these : 

" The weak Christian, in tlic midst of strong temptations and potent ene- 
mies, constantly seeking and exerting all their power and cunning to devour 
and destroy him, is preserved and upheld, through a course of trial, by tJie 
mighty, omnipotent hand of the Redeemer; and the little spark of lioliiiess 
implanted in the believer's heart is continued alive and burning, while tliere 
is so much, both within and without, tending to extinguish it ; which is really 
more of a constant miracle and manifestation of the power of Christ tlian it 
would be to preserve a little spark of fire, for a course of years, in the midst 
of the sea, while the mighty waves arc fiercely dashing against it and upon it, 
attempting to overwhelm and extinguish it." f 

There was certainly a difference between Hopkins confined six- 
teen or eighteen hours a day within this limited enclosure, and Bishop 
Berkeley walking out from his Newport residence, with his writing 
utensils borne by a servant behind him, and at length sitting down 
on Paradise Rock, and there, " with that joyful instinct which a 
rural scene and fine weather inspire," composing his Minute Philoso- 
pher. Into his contracted study charhber Hopkins entered at four 
o'clock in the morning, | and remained until his family were pre- 
pared for breakfast. When called, he descended a narrow and steep 
flight of stairs, and, having conducted the morning devotions, sat 
down at his frugal and generally silent repast of " a cup of coffee 
and a little Indian bread." Breakfast being over, he went out, if 
there were need, to make a parochial call, or to purchase some 

* Hopkins's Works, new edition, vol. i. pp. 79, 80. t Ibid. vol. ii. pp. 29, 30. 

^ Dr. Channing says, in his letter of February 14, 184.0, Dr. Hopkins's •• study was 
visible from my father's house, and I recollect that, rising very early one winter morn- 
ing, I saw the light of his candle streaming through the window. He took little exer- 
cise. His frame was very strong, or he must have sunk under his labors.'' 

MEMOIR. 243 

articles for his liouseliold. When he bought any thin<^, he paid for 
it on the spot. He asked no credit. It was " customary with him, 
when he had purchased a necessary article, as flour, or sugar, &,c., 
to reserve, from the money he weekly received, the amount of the 
expenditure of that article, that when the whole of it was gone, he 
miglit have money on hand to pay for a new supply." * 

Having performed these duties out of doors, he moved his giant 
frame slowly back to his narrow chamber, where he remained until 
the dinner hour. He then took a little meat, generally in silence, 
and climbed up again his precipitous stairway ; and with the inter- 
ruption of a brief interval for a cup of tea, he remained in his study 
until nine o'clock in the evening.t He then (often at least) put 
his light near his window, in order to apprise a neighboring house- 
hold that he was going down to his family prayer, and thus to secure 
with that household a kind of praying concert. At ten o'clock he 
retired to bed. This v/as the even tenor of his \vay.| 

It is said, that in his small room he could not have had many 

* Patten's Reminiscences, p. 140. Tlie congregation of Dr. Hopkins took up a weekly 
contribution for liim, and paid it to him on Mondaj' morning. It amounted to about two 
hundred dollars per year. " One gentleman paid annually sixty dollars, and a lady 
furnished his family with a dinner several times in a week." One of his wealthiest 
parishioners put twelve and a half cents into the contribution bag every Sabbath. His 
pastor considered this worse than nothing. A reason why his people gave him no more 
than such a pittance was, their faith that he would be sustained without their aid, and 
that he would give away all that he could possibly' do without. He had a farm at Great 
Barrington, the proceeds of which, however, he surrendered to his children. He had 
several wealthy friends who made him many presents ; and some, who had only a clerical 
fortune, were affectionately desirous of ministering to his need. An association of min- 
isters in Reading, Massachusetts, at one of their meetings, took up a contribution for 
him, after he had met a pecuniary loss. It was an unsolicited proof of their filial affec- 
tion for the man. 3Ir. Hopkins did not justify his people in contributing so little for his 
maintenance. He deemed it better for them to give more. He said that even if he did 
not need their money, " he would take it and cast it into the sea," rather than not en- 
courage among them a liberal spirit. " Occasionally,'' says Dr. Patten, (Reminiscences, 
p. 139,) " when there was a prospect of his wanting some necessary stores for the 
winter, especially fuel, he would make a statement in writing, and deliver it into the 
hand of some of the church, with a request that he would show it indiscriminatel}- to the 
members of the society ; but with a charge to say nothing by the way of soliciting a do- 
nation, but in silence to leave each one to act according to his own inclination. The 
ground of his request was never charil3', in the common acceptation of the word, but as- 
sistance to their pastor, in fuhilling his duty to them and the Redeemer; and such appli- 
cations, it is believed, were never unsuccessful." 

t Several of his letters close abruptly with the words, — '• The clock strikes nine, and 
I can oiil)' add that I am your affectionate and unworthy friend, S. H." 

f There were, of course, occasional variations of his daily routine. On Saturday 
evening, after his fast, he drank a bowl of milk before going to rest, and on Sabbath 
noon he drank a bowl of chocolate. It was certainly safer lo drink such liquids, at such 
times, than to employ the stimulants which his clerical brethren used; but the dull elo- 
cution of which his hearers complained, was not relieved, perhaps, by this soporific diet. 
— We sometimes catch a glimpse of him riding on horseback to ti^ " Hartford elec- 
tion," and to the '• Boston election," and calling on Mr. Sanford, Mr. Emmons, Mr. 
Spring, Dr. Hart and Dr. Strong. — During the protracted absence from Newport of his 
first wife, on account of her consumptive habits, he writes : " My little congregation are 
as friendly to me as ever, if not more so. They feel that I am not dependent on tbcm, 
or that I am not obliged to stay here in order to get a living." 

244 MEMOIR. 

books. The great majority of the volumes which he read were 
borrowed from pubhc Ubraries, or from ministerial friends.* It is 
ascertained, however, that in his library at Newport, were about 
fifty folios, about sixty quartos, a hundred octavos, and some duo- 
decimos. They were books of sterling value. It was better to have 
this select library, and to read it much, than to have a more imposing 
array of volumes, and read them not at all. 

Every fortnight the barber visited the old patriarch and shaved his 
head. Over his head the aged father wore a white linen cap, and, 
covering this, a higher cap of red velvet. A gown of blue worsted, 
lined with green, or of green plaid or baize, was his favorite dis- 
habille., always worn by him in the study and sometimes out of doors.t 
Ordinarily, however, when he appeared in the street, he was clad in 
the straight-bodied coat so common among gentlemen of the old 
school ; and his head was covered with a powdered wig and three- 
cornered hat. He wore the clerical neck-band when he preached. 
The first portrait of him was taken with his pul]jit attire, and usually 
hung in the west parlor of the parsonage. An engraving of it was 
prefixed to one of Dr. Hopkins's volumes, during his life. The second 
portrait was taken at the expense of a iew citizens of Hartford, 
when he was in liis eightieth year, and presents him in his study 
dress. This last-named portrait was copied in the engraving prefixed 
to his Autobiography, and has been more accurately copied for the 
complete edition of his Works. While this interesting old portrait 
was in a public gallery at Hartford, it was examined by a gentle- 
man, who disliked the subject of it so intensely, that he thrust his 
cane through the canvas, near the head of the figure, and made a 
rupture which yet remains. He gave as a reason for thus defacing 
the picture, that Dr. Hopkins believed in the damnation of infants. 
Some of Hopkins's clerical opponents have been equally injudicious 
in their assaults. 

To his dying day, Hopkins retained his love of neatness and order. 
No member of his household was allowed to move a book or paj)er 
in his study. He had a place for every article of his clothing, and 
he must needs be sure that every thing was in its place. The same 
peculiarity belonged to West and Emmons, and v. as often sportively 
said to be one of the outward signs of a IIoi)kinsian. 

To his dying day, also, Ho))kins retained his love of study. Long 
after his first shock of paralysis, he was wont to climb up his nar- 
row staircase to the favorite south-west corner of his parsonage, and 

* The charge of owning few t joks, is often brought against the New England divines. 
It is not considered, that liiey liad what amounts to a circulating library, among them- 
selves, and that each read the volumes belonging to his brethren. 

t " I can well recollect," says Dr. Channing, (Works, vol. iv. p. S18,) " the impres- 
sion which he made on me, when a boy, as he rode on horseback in a plaid gown fas- 
tened by a girdle round his waist, and with a study cap on his head instead of his wig." 

MEMOIR. 345 

there lose himself in divine contemplations. " I recollect," says Dr. 
Channing, " that on visiting him one day wh.en he was about eighty 
years of age, I found his eyes much inflamed by reading and writing. 
I took the liberty to recommend abstinence from these occupations. 
He replied, smilingly, with an amusing story, and then added, ' If 
my eyes won't study, no eyes for me.' " * 

This remark is quoted by Channing as an instance of the face- 
tiousness in which Hopkins occasionally indulged. It is said by some, 
that he had more pleasantry as well as more iuquisitiveness, in his 
later than in his earlier years, and that his house became more and 
more attractive to his friends. 


In his seventy-eighth year, having performed labor enough for 
breaking down a constitution of iron, this old divine was struck with 
a paralysis. Instead of describing his case pathologically, he turns 
the attention, at once, from the body to the soul. 

"December 1(1, 1799. On the tenth of last January, I Avas suddenly 
seized with a paralytic stroke, which affected my right side, and rendered my 
limbs of that side in a great measure useless, and much affected my speech; 
but was attended with little or no pain, and the exercise of my reason and 
mental faculties was not in the least affected. This appeared to threaten my 
speedy dissolution, in my view, and in the view of my friends, either by a 
greater and more deadly stroke, or some other way. To be sure, I seasona- 
bly considered it as a warning to be ready for death. I felt that God had laid 
his hand lightly upon me, and that the affliction was attended with much ten- 
der mercy ; and [I] was resigned and thanlcful. For a short time, at first, my 
mind was dark, and I seemed to myself to be in a measure shut out from the 
sensible presence of God and the Saviour ; but soon I was led to a view and 
sense of Jesus Christ, as exalted to the throne of the universe, having all 
power in heaven and earth, clothed with infinite poAvcr, wisdom, rectitude, 
and goodness, governing the world and ordering every event, the least and 
greatest, as it shall be most for his glory, and the greatest general good ; 
having mercy on whom he will have mercy, and hardening whom he will ; 
and showing mercy to every one to whom he can do it consistently with wis- 
dom and goodness, — i. e., consistently with the greatest display of his char- 
acter and perfections, and the highest happiness of the creation ; and that all 
this, and every thing, and event, and circumstance were determined and fixed 
from eternity, by eternal, unerring wisdom, righteousness, and goodness. In 
this view, the Saviour appeared infinitely great and important, and divinely 
worthy and amiable. I felt myself and all creatures and things to be in 
his hands, and was pleased and rejoiced in this, knov.'ing that every thing 
was ordered and conducted in the wisest and best possible manner, so as to 
answer the best and most desirable ends ; that the Saviour would injure none, 
fulfil all his promises to a tittle, and accomplish all his designs in the best 
time and the most desirable and perfect manner ; so that all is well, in the best 

» Works, vol. iv. pp. 348, S19. — It is probable that after his paralysis, the aged divine 
may not have risen so uniformly at four o'clock, as he had done. He was tenacious, 
however, of his old habits. 

246 MEMOIR. 

and most desirable situation that possibly can be. In a belief and sense of 
this, and more, wliich cannot be expressed, my soul was full of comfort and 
joy, saying, ' Tlie Lord Jesus Christ reigns, let the earth rejoice. Our God 
is in the heavens. He hath done, doth, and will do whatsoever he pleaseth.' 

" In these pleasing and comfortable views and exercises, I had no particu- 
lar attention to, or thought of, myself, whether I were a Christian and should 
be saved or not. But my comfort and joy were derived from, or rather con- 
sisted in, a view and sense of the excellent, glorious character of Christ, in 
whose hands I and all things were, and who v/ould order and dispose of 
things concerning me and all men and creatures, so as in the highest degree 
to promote his glory, or the glory of God, which is the same ; and effect the 
greatest general good or happiness, or the Avisest and best ends. In this 
view, my heart said, with strong emotions and the most pleasing sensations, 
' Amen ! Thy will be done I ' — without knowing or considering what his will 
was concerning me. Had I reflected judiciously on my own exercises, I 
might have rationally judged tliem to be agreeable to the truth, and an evi- 
dence that I was a friend to Christ ; but I did not so reflect as to make this 
conclusion. This view and sense of things still abides with me, but at differ- 
ent times in a higher and lower degree, but not so that I can infer from it, 
without hesitation, that I am a real Christian, and shall be saved. My views 
and exercises appear to me so much below the truth and so inconstant, that, 
sometimes, I doubt of their reality, or of their being real Christian exercises ; 
and I have such a deceitful heart, that I fear delusion, though at times all 
doubts subside. My person and whole interest in time and to eternity is, 
compared with the grand whole, — the glory of God and the best interest of 
his kingdom, — so small and inconsiderable, that when I have tlie latter in a 
sensible view, the former sinks into a more speck or nothing, and is almost 
wholly overlooked and forgotten, and the language of my heart is, ' Let God 
be glorified by all, and the best interest of his kingdom be secured and pro- 
moted, let what will become of me and my interest ! ' And while I see the 
fonner grand interest is secure, and will be in the best manner promoted, I 
am satisfied and rejoice. And this so engrosses my thoughts and reflections, 
that I do not attend to the interest of any individual person, my own or [that 
of] any one else, so as to excite any sensible joy or sorrow, hope or fear ; the 
interest of such individual being overlooked as not worthy of any regard, in 
comparison with the grand interest of the whole ; — this so impresses the mind 
and fills it, as to exclude the other. 

" But as my mind cannot have a view of all objects with equal clearness 
and attention, at one and the same time, but different objects are more attend- 
ed to, and make a greater impression at some times than at others, so when I 
attend more particularly to my own state and interest, I naturally reflect upon 
tlic views and affections and enjoyments I have experienced in attending to the 
person, character, and works of Christ, and the greatness, glory, and happi- 
ness of his kingdom ; and the inference seems to be plain, that I am a friend 
to these objects ; but I am not able always, if at any time, to see the truth of 
this consequence with clearness and certainty. When the clearness and 
sensibility of these views and exercises in a measure subside, and I attend 
more to my own character, and my depravity, stupidity, unbelief, and the evil 
and deceitfulness of my heart rise into view, I am disposed to call in question 
my own good estate, and to suspect that my exercises fixll short of real Chris- 
tianity ; yet, maintaining a hope that this is not the case, which is sometimes 
weaker and sometimes stronger, and frequently for a short space rises so high 
as to exclude doubting ; but even then, though this excites gratitude, it does 
lot raise my comfort and joy to that degree, as does the direct view of the 
character of Christ and his kingdom above mentioned, without any particular 
attention to my own character and personal interest. When my doubts and 
fears prevail most, respecting my personal union to Christ, and I attend par- 
ticularly to my personal concerns and interest, it appears, when considered by 
itself, to be beyond all conception, and infinitely great, which I feel to be 

MEMOIR. 247 

wholly in the hands of Christ, to be determined by him whether I shall be 
happy or miserable forever. And this is so far from being disagreeable to 
mo, that I am highly pleased with it, and would not have it otherwise on any 
consideration whatever. I feel that I am in the best hands, and, in this 
respect, in the best situation that I possibly could be in. He certainly will 
not injure mo in any respect, or in the least degree. He is infinitely wise, 
good, and merciful, and knows what is most for his own glory, and the highest 
g(wJ and liappiness of his kingdom ; and can and will certainly save me and 
every one else with whom I have any connection, if it may be consistent with 
his glory and the greatest happiness of his kingdom, or consistent with wis- 
dom and goodness, which is the same; and I cannot so much as wish or liave 
tho least desire to be saved on any other supposition, — i. e., if this be incon- 
sistent with infinite vv'isdom and goodness, and contrary to the greatest good 
and glory of Christ and his kingdom ; and [I] feel that it would be awful impi- 
ety and rebellion to ask for salvation on any other supposition. 

" But when I reflect on the dreadfulness of being cast away forever by 
Christ, to suffer the just desert of my sins, feeling the strokes and tokens of 
his righteous anger and vengeance ; and being given up to evil lusts, to join 
v>-itii the devil and exist eternally on his side, an enemy to Christ and his 
kingdom, my soul recoils, and feels this to be intolerable ! Then I fly to 
Christ and his atonement, and cast myself down at his feet, to dispose of me 
as he pleases ; yet hoping and crying for mercy, — O ! be merciful to me, a 
sinner ; — which is accompanied with a number of various exorcises which 
cannot be easily described. 

" And when I reflect on these exercises, they appear to me to be consistent 
with Christianity, and an evidence of real friendship to Christ; and I am 
sensible that if another person should relate to me sucli viev/s and exercises 
as experienced by him, I should tliink them an evidence that he was a real 
Christian. Yet I often greatly doubt of my being a true Christian ; especially 
wlien I have some more clear view and sense of my barren and sinful life, 
and attend particularly to that. 

'• Theso are some of my daily, various exorcises, in all which I always 
maintain a hope that I am a Christian, which sometimes excludes all doubt ; 
being constantly assured of the truth of the gospel, — that this is a revelation 
of the only true God, and of eternal life ; and that the truths which I have 
preached as contained in the gospel, are indeed the truths of God, and suf- 
ficient to support and comfort a Christian in the near view of death and eter- 
nity, and under all the afilictions of tliis life. And I live in the constant 
assurance of the truth of the doctrine of the decrees of God, and of his uni- 
versal and particular providence directing every event and every thing which 
comes to pass, and exercising absolute sovereignty in his dealing v/ith men ; 
witliout whicli I could have no support and comfort. And my chief comfort 
and joy does not consist in or arise from an assurance or hope that I sliall be 
saved ; but in a view and sense of the perfections and glory of Christ, his 
power, wisdom, and goodness, reigning and ordering all things for the glory 
of God and the greatest good of his kingdom. And this is accompanied with 
an experimental assurance, that the exercises of true religion are wholly dis- 
interested and in direct opposition to all selfishness, — a doctrine which I 
have endeavored to maintain and inculcate for many years. 

" When I was first taken with this disorder, and for most of the time since, 
I have had little or no sensible desire of recovering, and was not inclined so 
much as to ask for it; my mind rather reluctated at the tliought of recovering 
so as to preacli after the poor, dull way in which I had hitherto preached, 
ami with as little success. But God has been pleased to recover me, so that 
I have been able to attend public worship and preach tor several months past ; 
and I do not feel that preaching hurts me, or aggravates my disorder, which 
encourages me to proceed, but Avith many and great discouragements from 
my own great deficiencies, and the want of a proper attention apparent in the 
congregation in general But Christ will answer his own ends by me, and 


248 MEMOIR. 

continue me in the world, and take me out of it in tlie best time ana manner, 
so as best to answer these ends ; and in this I daily acquiesce and rejoice. 
Amen." * 

On the tenth of January, 1800, this lowly disciple made the follow- 
ing record, first, of the signs that he loas " a real Christian," and, 
secondly, of the indications that he was not " a real friend to 
Christ." The flivorahle signs are thus humbly and honestly given : 

" 1. I have been so far convinced of my sins and reproved for them, that I 
know that I ain infinitely guilty, and deserve eternal destruction and misery ; 
that God v.-ould be just, and I should have no reason to complain, if he should 
punish me forever, with aggravated torments. This conviction is abiding and 
increasing, while I heartily approve of the law of God wluch curses the trans- 
gressor, — as holy, just, and good. This conviction and sense of the evil of sin, 
and of my depravity and sinfulness, rises much higher sometimes than others; 
but I am never disposed to cast it off or doubt the truth of it, but it is fixed 
on my mind ; and when I have the greatest sense of it, I know that I see but 
little of what it really is in the sight of God, — that the number of my sins 
and the magnitude and aggravations of each one are infinitely beyond my 
comprehension, and are known perfectly to God alone, — that I am wholly 
and beyond expression depraved and sinful, naturally, being infinitely far from 
any moral goodness to recommend me to the mercy and favor of God, — and 
that if my heart be changed so as to exercise holiness in any degree, yet this 
is so defective, and attended with so much moral defilement and sin, that all 
taken together it is worse than nothing, and affords matter of condemnation, 
and is infinitely far from deserving any good or favor. And if I were wholly 
recovered from my depravity, and were made perfectly lioly, tliis would be so 
infinitely overbalanced by the guilt of my sins, that it could not be reckoned 
in my favor, so as to procure the pardon of my sins, or render me deserving 
of any good thing. I have a constant and growing conviction, that I am 
wholly dependent on the preventing, sovereign grace of God, for my recovery 
from this miserable, lost state of infinite guilt and total depravity, and for the 
least degree of sincerity and faith or conformity to the law of God ; that I 
am wholly lost, and shall sink down to hell, an enemy to God and all good, 
and justly perish forever, unless Christ, by his sovereign goodness, clothed 
^v'ith onmipotence and infinite wisdom, shall recover and save me, while I shall 
not do any thing towards my salvation, or make the least exertion for it; but 
all that I will and do is contrary to it, unless and no farther than he shall work 
in me to will and to do, of his sovereign good pleasure, what he requires as 
necessary to my salvation. Thus I feel myself to be an infinitely guilty, 
odious creature, utterly undone in myself, and have not a word to say, and 
have not a thought in my favor; my mouth is stopped in this respect, and I 
am guilty before God, and accept the punishment of my iniquity. 

" If tliis, which I have imperfectly described, implies the essentials of real 
repentance, in which I humble myself in the sight of the Lord, with a broken 
and contrite heart, then I have a new heart and am interested in tlie divine 
promises. But if not, — then I have never yet understood the true meaning* 
of these words of Scripture, and my eyes are yet blinded with regard to my 
own character! 

" 2. I think I do most heartily approve of, and acquiesce in, the person and 
character of Christ, and am pleased with tlie v.ay of salvation of sinners by 
him. All his directions, exhortations, commands, doctrines which he taught, 
all that he said, did, and suffered, and all his revealed purposes and designs 
appear wise, good, and excellent, and carry clear marks and abundant evi- 
dence of divinity in them. Hence 

* Sketches, etc., pp. 105-113. 

MEMOIR. 249 

" 3. I do, I think, place all my hope in him, and desire not to be found and 
accepted in any rijrhteousness of my own, were this possible ; but to be par- 
doned and justified by the merit and righteousness of Christ. I am sensibly 
and greatly pleased with being wjiolly dependent on him for righteousness, 
sanctification, and complete redemption. If there were any other possible way 
of s:ilvation, Avhich I know tliere is not, I would reject it, not desiring to be 
saved in any way but that which is revealed in the gospel. 

" 4. I tliink I desire and seek the glory of God and the greatest good and 
happiness of tlie universe, as my highest and ultimate end ; and in this view 
am pleased with and rejoice in the character and designs of God and Christ, 
wiio is doing every thing for this end, and will accomplish it in the most per- 
fect manner, and in the highest possible degree. And on this account I am 
highly pleased with Christ and the gospel, as by the redemption of man by 
Ciirist, God is glorified in an eminent degree, and the greatest happiness of 
creatures promoted and effected. And for this reason I acquiesce in it, that 
iill of the human race sliould not be saved, but a part of them perish forever 
in tlieir sins, as divine revelation has declared ; because I know this is neces- 
s.iry for the glory of God, and the greatest good of his eternal kingdom, and 
not one will be lost forever, who could be saved consistently with this ; and 
therefore all will be saved who can be saved consistently with infinite wisdom 
and goodness. Therefore, — 

".5. I am most satisfied and pleased, when I have the most clear and feel- 
ing sense of my being in the hands of Christ, in the most perfect and absolute 
sense and degree, and wjiolly at his disposal in time and to eternity ; knowing 
that he will do witli and by me what is most for his glory and the good of his 
kingdom ; and that he v.ill save me, if he can do it consistently with this ; and 
this is all that I can desire. Therefore I am well pleased with being in his 
hands and wholly at his disposal, let him do what he will with me, and cannot 
conceive of a better and more desn-able situation: yea, I know there cannot 
bo a better. 

" When I reflect on the feelings and exercises expressed in the last two 
particulars, they seem to me to be the expression of true disinterested benev- 
olence, or that love by which we are formed after the likeness of God, and 
he dwelleth in us, and we in him. The reason of my doubting of this, espe- 
cially at times, has been in some measure suggested before, and will be more 
fully expressed in the sequel. 

" G. I think I do hunger and thirst after righteousness. My longing to be 
perfectly holy is, sometimes, very sensible and strong, exceeding all desires 
of earthly things that I have, or of which I am capable. I have often felt 
willing and a desire to die immediately, if this might bring me to perfect holi- 
ness, to a com]ilete conformity to Christ. 

" 7. I feel my heart strongly united to those whom I consider to be real 
friends to Christ, in benevolent and complacential love ; especially those with 
whom I am more particularly and intimately acquainted. I have a quite dif- 
ferent fooling toward them from that which 1 have toward others, and have a 
peculiar delight in their company and conversation. 

" 8. My preaching and conversation has been generally acceptable and 
pleasing to those whom I have esteemed the most judicious and best Chris- 
tians, so far as I have been able to learn. I have not only preached the doc- 
trines which I verily believed to be true, but heartily approved of them, and 
have delivered those truths of the word of God respecting practical and ex- 
perimental religion, wliich were the dictates of my heart, and often, if not 
commonly, suggested by my own feelings and exercises ; and have not en- 
deavored to appear better or in a more agreeable light, tiian was agreeable to 
the truth, though I am sensible that my Christian friends have in many in- 
stances and respects, thought too highly of me, which has been matter of shame 
and humiliation to me ; yet their love and esteem, I have been ready to con- 
sider as an evidence in my favor, though of little weight considered by itself, 
as wc know not each other's hearts, and are liable to be greatly deceived in 

250 MEMOIR. 

Others. I therefore mention this as coinciding with, and in some measure 
strengthening the evidences which have been mentioned. This is, at least, 
an evidence that what appears in my preaching, conversation, and external 
conduct, which, so far as I know, is in general agreeable to my heart, (at least 
I do not on design attempt to play the hypocrite,) is to judicious Christians, 
who are most acquainted with me, an evidence that I am a real Christian." 

How beautiful is the honesty of this aged scholar ! How un- 
common is the lowliness with which lie proceeds to write dark things 
agninst himself ! 

"I proceed to mention some things which appear to me, at times at least, 
reason of fear that I never have known what it is to be a real Christian, and 
are at times, if not generally, the cause of many doubts. 

■' 1. My stupidity and hardness of heart with respect to things divine and 
invisible, or the truths exhibited in the gospel. At times, and I believe I may 
say generally, I have very little or no sense of these things, and tliey make 
veiy little impression on my heart, if any ; and I often feel as if tliey had no 
existence, while in my reason and judgment I have no doubt of their truth 
and reality. And when I have some sense of the truth, reality, and excel- 
lence of them, and even when I have the greatest sense and the most affect- 
ing view and impression of them on my heart, and I am most strongly and 
deeply affected with them, I am sensible that the view and sense I have is 
very imperfect and unspeakably short of the truth, and of what I ought to have, 
and even the greatest impression, and highest affection that I at any time ex- 
perience, commonly soon abate and subside, and I am left as stupid and sense- 
less as ever ; and what I thought I had experienced seems like a dream, and 
as if it was not a reality. This stupidity and senselessness is commonly most 
sensible and burdensome in my public performances of prayer and preaching ; 
and even when I have freedom of speech and a flow of words, and my Chris- 
tian friends have thought I was greatly assisted, I have been conscious of my 
great and shameful stupidity, and want of a proper sense of the things of 
which I have been speaking. This, which is more or less sensibly felt, is 
my constant attendant, and the grief and burden of my heart, and mat- 
ter of my constant confessions and prayer to God for deliverance from 
it ; being always sensibly convinced that no external light and advantages, 
or any means used, will in the least remove this stupidity and hardness 
of heart ; but that the Spirit of God alone can remove it, and give me 
that spiritual sensibility and feeling of heart which I seem most earnestly 
to desire. I consider this stupidity, blindness, and insensibility of heart 
to divine things, to be altogether and infinitely criminal ; as it must be 
owing to the moral corruption and depravity of my heart, or rather consist 
wholly in depravity and wickedness of heart, being hardened, contracted, and 
bound up in selfishness and pride, and all the evil propensities which are hn- 
plied in these. Tliis is unbelief of heart, which is consistent with a convic- 
tion of the reason and judgment, of the truths contained in the gospel ; for 
no degree of such conviction will in the least remove this blindness, hardness, 
and unbelief of heart, M'liicli I am considei-ing. But blindness and unbelief 
of heart have a strong tendency to prevent or remove a conviction of tiie judg- 
ment and conscience of the truth and reality of invisible things, and to pro- 
mote speculative unbelief of them ; and are the I'eal and only ground of all 
deism and atheism, and all speculative infidelity. This gives Satan great ad- 
vantage to blind the minds of them who believe hot, and lead them captives to 
infidelity, which ho improves to the utmost of his power. 

" I do not sensibly perceive the real ground and reason of this darkness and 
stupidity of my mind with respect to invisible things, but am most sensible of 
the fact, while the cause of this lamentable fact is out of sight, and is rather 
the object of reason and speculation. This blindness and stupidity of heart 

MEMOIR. 251 

are so sensible and appear so frreat to me, especially at times, that I much 
doubt whether it be consistent with the true knowledge of God, or my having 
any real Christian light and discerning, whicli Christ calls ' the light of life,' 
which he gives to all his true ibllowers. Yet I know that when I hear pro- 
fessing Christians complain of their stupidity and blindness, &c., I do not con- 
sider this as an evidence that they are not Christians, but rather in their f;ivor, 
as a sign that they have a sensibility and discerning respecting their own 
hearts, which is peculiar to Christians. But it is not easy for me to apply 
this to myself, and draw such a consequence in my own flivor. I am apt to 
consider my blindness and stupidity not to be like that of others, but greater 
and peculiar to myself. 

" 2. My life and conversation, all taken together, both external and inter- 
nal, api)ear very much against me, and so destitute of any good fruit, and so 
full of deformity and sin both of omission and commission, that I know not 
bow to reconcile it with the life of a Christian, especially at some times, when 
I have a view of it as a most deformed and odious life, considering the many 
and peculiar advantages and opportunities I have had, and my great obliga- 
tions to live a holy life, wholly devoted to Christ ; all wliich I have abused in 
a greater or less degree continually. Though I dare not say I have )iot been, 
and am not in any degree sincere in my regard to Christ and the trutlis of the 
gospel, and have a hope tliat I have had and now have some sincerity, yet I 
cannot look back upon a well-spent life, for it appears unspeakably fur from 
such an one. I have often said, 'I will be wise,' but it has been far from me. 
I cannot view myself as n good and faithful servant of Jesus Clirist, but much 
to the contrary ; and, therefore, cannot realize it, or even conceive how he 
can view and call i^ie such an one, as he represents that he will do all who 
shall be owned by him at the last day. This is often cause of great doubts 
and fears that I am not a real servant of Jesus Christ. I know he will own 
and accept of the least thing done for him from a true regard to him, but I 
feel that I have nothing that I have done to plead in my favor. 

"3. It has been matter of doubt and discouragement to me, that I have 
little or no success by my preaching, in being made tlie instrument of 
awakening and converting sinners. But very few instances of this hav:- 
come to my knowledge, and these not very remarkable and clear. I came 
upon the stage and began to preacli, when there was a great and general re- 
vival of religion in New England ; many were awakened, and thought to bo 
converted, and many ministers were successful in this, and had great reviva]>3 
in their congregations ; but no such thing has appeared under my preaching, 
though some individuals have sometimes appeared to be in some degree 
awakened. I should expect that a good minister of Christ would be succeed- 
ed in this respect — especially when others round about him were successful 

-more than I have appeared to be. This has led me to fear, especially ul 
times, that there is some essential defect in me, and that I had not the true 
spirit of Christ, and his real presence and approbation. I do not think I hnve 
reason to conclude that my ministrations in preaching, writing, and conversa- 
tion have been altogether useless and unprofitable. They have been accej^.- 
ablc to many, if not to all, who have a])peared to be Christians, especially ti 
tlio most attentive, engaged, and judicious ; and many have thouglit th-^m- 
selves greatly instructed, strengthened, and comforted by them ; and my 
usefulness, if there has been any, has not consisted in being the mean of 
convincing and converting sinners, but chiefly in ministering to the saints, 
and building them up in faith and holiness ; and I believe my publications 
have been the means of spreading light with respect to some important doc- 
trines of Christianity. This I consider as matter of thankfulness ; but it does 
not wholly remove my gloom and doubts, which arise from the inefficacy of 
my preaching with respect to sinners : and when I attend to the groat and 
sliameful defects and poorness of my preaching, and the little sense I have 
of what I do say, &.c., together with want of success, I don't wonder my 


preaching is without effect, and my doubts of my having any true grace are 



" T speak with difficulty," writes the faithful paralytic, October 4, 
1799, " yet so that my congregiMion can understand me. I have 
preached all day on the Sabbath for some time, and [I] do not find 
that it hurts me. But I am hastening to the grave, and do not find 
that I am doing any great good, if any." Doubtless his friends could 
easily understand his discourses. But a gentleman now living, who 
occasionally attended service at Dr. Hopkins's meeting-house, writes : 
" I can truly say, that I never heard him preach ; his voice was 
so tremulous, broken, inarticulate, that I never heard him, [even 
when I saw him preaching.]" The venerable paralytic lived only a 
few rods from his church edifice, and yet was often obliged to 
ride thither in a chaise ; but he persevered in preaching till the age 
of eighty-two. It was dangerous for him to ascend the pulpit stairs, 
or even to go up the broad aisle, without help ; therefore his old 
friend and sexton, Newport Gardner,! often walked close behind 
him, to catch him if he fell, and to stay up his trembUng frame, if 
he seemed to falter in his movements; — still he persevered in 
preaching. There are persons living who recollect, or at least have 
the impression, that Newport Gardner sometimes helped him rise in 
the pulpit to read the hymn, or offer prayer, and afterward aided 
him in resuming his seat ; — still he preached. One would think 
that his constant theme should have been, " the perseverance of the 


One of the most interesting traits in the character of Hopkins 
was, his continued faithfulness to the friends of his youth. He has 
been thought to be one of those men who, in the words of Milton, 
have " such a scholastical bur in their throats, as hath stopped and 
hindered all true and generous philosophy from entering, [and] 
cracked their voices forever with metaphysical gargarisms." Bui 
more than once in his letters, at the age of eighty-two, he apologizes 
for his earnest expressions of friendship, with such clauses as, " You 
will perhaps think by what I have written, that I am not a Httle en- 
thusiastic in my old age." The following honest-hearted words to 
Rev. Jonathan Judd, of Southampton,! breathe the forgiving spirit 
of the man who had suffered so much for his faith : 

* Sketches, etc., pp. 114-124. t See section xxxvii. of this Memoir. 

X See p. 34 of this Memoir. 

MEMOIR. 253 

" Newport, November 5, 1798. Dear Sir : It is near tliirty years since I 
have had any thing direct from you, and I do not remember that I have writ- 
ten you since, which I am now disposed to consider as my fault. The import 
of your line to me then was, that you considered mo as a great and wicked 
heretic, highly deserving rebuke.* I believe I have published nothing since, 
tiiat would load you to have a better opinion of me, had you read my writings, 
whicli to me is improbable. 

" However, considering our consanguinity,! that we originated in the same 
town, were classmates at college, and tiio intimacy which took place between 
us when we were young and entering on the stage of life, there is, perhaps, 
no reason for our living strangers to each otiior. I therefore now sit dov.-n to 
write you by post, as I know of no other way of conveyance, presuming you 
are yet in this world, though I have heard nothing of you for a considerable 

" You are about a year older or younger than I am, I think, but I do not 
remember wliich. I was seventy-seven years old on the seventeenth day of 
last September. But very few of our contemporaries are now living, and we 
shall soon be called off the stage of life. I think I have heard of the death of 
the wife of your }^outh ; and that you have since married another wife, but who, 
or from whence, or whether siie be yet alive, I luiow not. You have children, 
I conclude, some or all of them grown up and settled in the world ; but how 
many you have had, whether they be all alive, and what proportion of males 
and females, I have not been informed." — 

Hopkins next gives an unvarnished account of his own familv, and 
adds : 

" My cluirch and congregation were large and flourished, before the war 
with BritAin, but in that war were greatly diminished and impoverished ; from 
wliich state they have not risen. However, I have my daily food, and live 
comfortably and in peace, having neither poverty nor riches, as a temptation 
to lead me astray," — 

" I enjoy a comfortable measure of health, through the distinguishing mercy 
of God, and have fewer complaints than men of my years commonly have; — 
am able to attend the public sei-vices of the Sabbath constantly, and we have 
a weekly conference at my house every Thursday evening. But religion is 
very low with us, and in these parts." — 

The writer then enumerates his various publications, and adds : 

"We are going into a world of light, where it will be known what truth 
and what errors we have imbibed and contended for in this dark world ; and 
then all matters will be set right ; to which I feel no reluctance, hoping I 
sincerely love the trulli, and that I am building on the sure foundation laid 
in Zion, whatever hay and stubble may be found v.'ith me. And as to others, 
who are the professed friends of Christ, I desire not to judge any of them 
before the time. 

" If tins sliould find you alive and in hcaltli, and you should find it in your 
heart to write me by the same conveyance in which this goes, you would 
much oblige your kinsman and old friend, S. Hopkins. 

" Reverend Jonathan Judd. 

" P. S. Mrs. Hopkins wishes you to think of her as your respectful 
friend." | 

Mr. Judd was strong-Iy opposed to some of the opinions of Dr. Hopkins. 
+ The mother of Dr. Hopkins was a sister of Mr. Judd's father. 
t See the whole of this letter in the New England Historical and Genealogical Regis- 
ter, vol. V. pp. 45-45. 




The faithfulness of Dr. Hopkins to his old friends, is most con- 
spicuous in his life-long devotedness to the family of President Ed- 
wards. When the President and his consort were removed by death, 
Hopkins wrote : 

" Mrs. Sarah Edwards, the amiable consort of President Edwards, did not 
long survive him. In September, she set out in good health on a journey to 
Philadelphia, to take care of her two orphan grandchildren, which were now 
in that city, and had been since the death of Mrs. Burr. As they had no re- 
lations in those parts, Mrs. Edwards proposed to take them into her own 
family. She arrived there by the way of Princeton, September 21, in good 
health, having had a comfortable journey. But in a few days she was sud- 
denly seized with a violent dysentery, which put an end to her life on the 
fifth day, October 2, 1758, in the forty-ninth year of her ag'e. She said not 
much in her sickness, being exercised most of the time with violent pain. 
On the morning of the day she died, she apprehended her death was near, 
when she expressed her entire resignation to God, and desire that God might 
be glorified in all things ; and that she might be enabled to glorify him to the 
last ; and continued in such a temper, calm and resigned, till she died. 

" Her remains were carried to Princeton, which is about forty miles from 
Philadelphia, and deposited with Mr. Edwards's. Thus they who were in their 
lives remarkably lovely and pleasant, in their death were not much divided. 
Here lie the father and mother, the son and daughter, who were laid together 
in the grave within the space of a little more than a year ; though, a few 
months before, their dwelling was more than one hundred and fitly miles 
apart. Two presidents of the same college and their consorts, than whom it 
will doubtless be hard to find four persons more valuable and useful, in a few 
months are cut off" from the earth forever ; and by a remarkable providence 
are put, as it were, into one grave ! And we, the survivors, are left under 
the gloomy apprehension that these righteous are taken away from the evil 
to come. 

" Surely, America is greatly emptied by these deaths ! How much knowl- 
edge, wisdom, and holiness is gone from the earth forever ! And where are 
they who shall make good their ground ! * 

Hopkins describes Mrs. Edwards as uncommonly beautiful in her 
person, courteous and engaging in her manners, and gives the fol- 
lowing simple-hearted account of her domestic life : 

" She paid proper deference to Mr. Edwards, and treated him with decency 
and respect at all times. As he was of a weakly, infirm constitution, and was 
peculiar and exact in his diet, she was a tender nurse to him ; cheerfully at- 
tending upon him at all times, and ministering to his comfort ; and spared no 
pains to conform to his inclinations, and make things agreeable and comfort- 
able to him. 

" She accounted it her greatest glory, and that wherein she could best serve 
God and her generation, in being a means of promoting Mr. Edwards's comfort 
and usefulness in this way. And no person of discerning could be conversant 
in the family, without observing and admiring the great harmony and mutual 
love and esteem that subsisted between them. 

" When she herself labored under bodily disorders and pains, which was 
often the case, she was not wont to be full of her complaints, and put on a de- 
jected or sour countenance, being out of humor with every body and every 
thing, as if she was disregarded and neglected, but she would bear up under 
them with patience, and a kind of cheerfulness and good humor. 

* Appendix to the Memoir of President Edwards, pp. 109, 110, Edinburgh edition. 

MEMOIR. !gl35 

" She was a good economist, managing her household affairs with discre- 
tion ; in which she was laborious and diligent. She was very careful that 
nothing should be wasted and lost ; and often, when she did any thing to 
save a small matter, or directed her children to do it in any instance, or saw 
them waste any thing, she would mention the words of our Saviour, which, 
she said, she often thought of, as containing a maxim worth remembering ; 
when, as the reason why his disciples should gather up the fragments, he 
says, ' that nothing; he lost.'' She took almost the whole care of the temporal 
affairs of the family, without doors and within ; and in this she was peculiarly 
suited to Mr. Edwards's disposition, who chose to have no care of any worldly 

" She had an excellent way of governing her children. She knew how to 
make them regard and obey her cheerfully, without loud, angry words, or 
heavy blows. She seldom struck her children a blow ; and, in speaking to 
them, used mild, gentle, and pleasant words. If any correction was needful, 
it was not her manner to give it in a passion. And when she had occasion to 
reprove and rebuke, she would do it in ie-w words, without heat and noise, 
with all calmness and gentleness of mind. And in her directions or re- 
proofs, in any matters of importance, she would address herself to the reason 
of her children, that they might not only know her inclination and will, but at 
the same time be convinced of the reasonableness of it. She need speak 
but once ; she was cheerfully obeyed ; murmuring and answering again were 
not known among them ; and the kind and gentle treatment they had from 
their mother, while she strictly and punctually maintained her parental au- 
thority, seemed naturally to beget and promote a filial regard and respect, 
and lead them to a mild, tender treatment of each other ; for quarrelling and 
contention, as it frequently takes place among children, was not known among 
them. She carefully observed the first appearances of resentment and ill will 
towards any, in her young children, and did not connive at it and promote 
it, as many who have the care of children do, but was careful to show her 
displeasure at it, and suppress it to her utmost ; not by angry, wrathful words 
and blows, which often provoke children to wrath, and stir up and confirm 
their irascible passions, rather than abate and suppress them. 

" As she was sensible that, in many respects, the chief care of forming 
children by government and instruction naturally lies on mothers, as they are 
most with their children in their most pliable age, when they commonly re- 
ceive impressions by which they are very much formed for life, so she was 
very careful to do her part in this important business. And when she met 
with any special difficulty in this matter, or foresaw any, she was wont to 
apply to Mr. Edwards for advice and assistance ; and on such occasions they 
would both attend to it as a matter of great importance. 

" But this was not all in wliich she expressed her care for her children. 
She thought that parents had great and important duty to do towards their 
children, before they were capable of government and instruction. For them 
she constantly and earnestly prayed, and bore them on her heart before God, 
in all her secret and most solemn addresses to him ; and that even before 
they were born 

" She was remarkable for her kindness to her friends and visitants, who 
resorted to Mr. Edwards. She would spare no pains to make them welcome, 
and provide for their convenience and comfort ; and she was peculiarly kind 
to strangers who came to her house. She would take such kind and special 
notice of such, and so soon get acquainted with them, as it were, and show 
such regard and concern for their comfort, and so kindly offer what she 
thought they needed, as to discover she knew the heart of a stranger, and 
well understood how to do it good, and so as to oblige them to feel, in some 
measure, as if they were at home. 

"She made it her rule to speak well of all, so far as she could with truth 
and justice to herself and others. She was not wont to dwell with delight on 
the imperfections and failings of any ; and when she heard persons speaking 

256 MEMOIR. 

ill of others, she would say what she thought she could, with truth and justice, 
in their excuse, or divert the obloquy by mentioning those things that were 
commendable in them. Thus she was tender of every one's character, even 
of theirs who injured and spoke evil of her ; and carefully guarded against 
the too common vice of evil speaking and backbiting. She could bear inju- 
ries and reproach with great calmness and patience, Avitliout any disposition 
to render evil for evil ; but, on the contrary, was ready to pity and forgive 
those who appeared to be her enemies. 

" She had long told her intimate friends, that she had, after long struggles 
and exercises, obtained, by God's grace, an habitual willingness to die herself, 
or part with any of her most near relatives, — that she was willing to bring 
forth children for death, and resign up him whom she esteemed so great a 
blessing to her and her family — her nearest partner — to the stroke of death, 
whenever God should see tit to take him. And when she had the gi-eatest 
trial, in the death of Mr. Edwards, she found the help and comfort of such a 
disposition. Her conversation and conduct on this occasion was even to the 
admiration of her friends. It was such as discovered that she was sensible 
of the great loss she and her children had sustained in his death ; and at the 
same time showed that she was quiet and resigned, and had those invisible 
supports and comforts by which she could trust in God Avith quietness, hope, 
and humble joy." * 

In the same volume which contains the " Short Sketch of Mrs. 
Edwards's Life and Character," is also a " Brief Account of Mrs. 
Esther Burr, and some Extracts of Letters wrote by her." Mrs. 
Burr was the third daughter of President Edwards. Her biographer 
says of her : 

She " exceeded most of her sex in the beauty of her person, and in a de- 
cent and easy gesture, behavior, and conversation, (not stiff and starch on the 
one hand, nor mean and indecent on the other ;) in her unaffected, natural 
freedom with persons of all ranks with wliom she conversed. Her genius was 
much more than counnon. Siie had a lively, sprightly imagination, a quick 
and penetrating thought, and a good judgment. She had a peculiar smart- 
ness in her make and temper, which yet was consistent with pleasantness and 
good nature ; and she knew how to be pleasant and facetious without tres- 
passing on the bounds of gravity, or strict and serious religion. In short, she 
seemed to be formed to please, and especially to please one of Mr. Burr's 
taste and talents, in whom he was exceeding happy. But what crowned al. 
her excellences, and was her chief glory, was her religion. She was hope- 
fully converted when she was seven or eight years old ; and she made a pub- 
lic profession of religion when she was about fifteen years of age; and her 
conversation and conduct, to her death, were exemplary, and as becometh 
godliness." f 

Our author thus describes her death : 

" Mrs. Burr and her children were inoculated at the same time her father 
was, and were recovered when he died. But after she was perfectly recov- 
ered to all appearance, she was suddenly seized with a violent disorder, which 
carried her out of the world in a few days ; and which the physician said he 
could call by no name, but that of a messenger seal suddenh) to call her out of 
the ivorld. She died April 7, 1758, sixteen days after her father, in the 
twenty-seventh year of her age. She was married to Mr. Burr June 29, 
1752. By hun she had two children, a son and a daughter." | 

* Appendix to the Memoir of PresidcDt Edwards, pp. 112-llG, Edinburgh edition, 
t Ibid. pp. 104, 105. X Ibid. p. 104. 

MEMOIR. ^57 

In one of her letters to her father, after the death of President 
Burr, the bereaved widow thus expresses herself: 

" Since I wrote my mother's letter, God has carried me through new trials, 
and given me new supports. My little son has been sick with a slow fever, 
ever since my brother left us, and has been brought to the brink of the grave, 
but I hope in mercy God is bringing him up again. I was enabled to resign 
the child, (after a severe struggle with nature,) with the greatest freedom. 
God showed me that the child was not my own, but his ; and that he had a 
right to recall what he had lent, whenever he thought fit ; and I had no reason 
to complain, or say, God was hard with me. This silenced me. 

" But O, how good is God ! He not only kept me from complaining, but 
comforted me by enabling me to offer up the child by faith, I think, if ever I 
acted faith. I saw the fulness there was in Christ for little infants, and his 
willingness to accept of such as were offered to him. ' Suffer little children 
to come unto me, and forbid them not,'' were comforting words. " * 

This " little son " became, in the lapse of time, Vice President 
of the United States. Knowing him to be then surrounded with a 
brilUant circle of admirers, and to be flattered with a hope of new 
promotion, Hopkins ^its down in the narrow study, and writes to hira 
the following epistle. It is one of the last letters which he ever 
wrote. He seems to have felt that he could not go to rejoin the 
family of President Edwards, until he had performed a sad duty to 
one of that good man's erring descendants : 

" Newport, , 1809. Honored Sir : You will probably be surprised, 

(though it is hoped not offended,) by being addressed by a person above four- 
score years old, who has no personal acquaintance with you, and whom you 
never saw and perhaps never heard of. The only apology I have to make for 
this, is the intimate acquaintance and friendship which subsisted between me 
and your grandfather and grandmother Edwards, and their daughter, your 
mother, and President Burr, your father ; and my consequent benevolent, re- 
spectful regard for you. 

" After the death of President Burr, President Edwards, and your mother, 
Mrs. Edwards was informed that you and your sister were taken to Philadel- 
phia, by a friend of your deceased parents. She thought it her duty to make 
a journey to Philadelphia, and take the best care she could of her'two little 
orphan grandchildren. The day she set out on her journey, she called at my 
house, as I then lived at Great Barrington, and proposed to me to write the 
life of the late President Edwards ; to which I objected my being very un- 
equal to such a work. But being urged by her solicitations, I consented to 
attempt it. Accordingly it was written, and by the approbation of his sur- 
viving friends it was published ; to which was added a Sketch of the Char- 
acter of Mrs. Edwards and Mrs. Burr. This has been reprinted in London, 
which you have doubtless seen, and read the account your mother has given 
of her pious exercises respecting you, when you was a fatherless infant, and 
sick unto death, as was feared, but mercifully recovered in answer to fervent 
prayer. But to return from this perhaps needless digression. 

" Mrs. Edwards arrived at Philadelphia in apparent good health, but was 
soon seized with sickness, which put an end to her life in a few days, which 
was, in a sense and degree, sacrificed in behalf of her two orphan grand- 

" In whose hands you was left afler this, and who had the care of your 

* Appendix to the Memoir of President Edwards, p. 108, Edinburgh edition. 

258 MEMOIR. 

education in yonr childhood and early youth, I do not recollect that I was ever 
informed. But that you have had a liberal education, and when you entered 
on the stage of life you studied and practised tlie law with success and repu- 
tation, and that in our late revolutionary war with Britain you were an active 
and useful officer under Washington, is sufficiently ascertained ; and you are 
now raised to the dignity of Vice President of the United States, and con- 
sequently are a candidate for the highest office which the people of these 
States can confer. 

" It is reported, and it is believed by a number, that you do not believe in 
divine revelation, and discard Christianity as not wortliy of credit. I know 
this is an age of infidelity, but I do not think I have such evidence of the 
truth of this report, as to exclude all hope that it is not true. It would be 
very grievous to me, and I know it would be inexpressibly so to your pious 
and worthy ancestors, were they now in this world, to know that one of their 
posterity, for whom they had made so many prayers, who was educated in a 
Christian land, and is possessed of such great and distinguished natural 
powers of mind, was an infidel ; especially as it is certain that such a char- 
acter cannot be so useful as mischievous, nor can he be happy, but miserable, 
in this life ; and, dying so, will be inconceivably miserable forever. 

" I am as certain that the God revealed in the Bible is the only true God, 
and that Christianity is from heaven, and the only way to true happiness, as I 
am that there is a God, or that there is any existence, either visible or in- 
visible ; therefore that all infidelity, whether it be called deism, atheism, or 
scepticism, renounces the true God, has its foundation in a very depraved and 
corrupt heart, and will land in endless misery. There is the most certain and 
clear evidence, which cannot but be seen by every discerning, attentive mind, 
both from reason, experience, and divine revelation, that all the worldly riches, 
honors, and enjoyments, that any man can possess, cannot make him happy, 
but is attended with more pain than pleasure ; and commonly, if not ahvays, 
with peculiar trouble and vexation, if he seek happiness in this life only ; and 
tJie best that he can hope for is the awfully dark and precarious cessation of 
existence, when he shall leave this world. But if this forlorn hope fail, as it 
certainly will, nothing remains but certain, inconceivable, endless misery. 

" And there is equal evidence and certainty from the above-mentioned 
sources, that the true Christian, whether rich or poor, in a high or low station, 
honored and applauded, or neglected and despised by men, is in the posses- 
sion of a high, solid, and refined enjoyment, which the men of the world 
know not, and which the world cannot give or take away ; consisting in the 
knowledge, belief, and love of the truths and realities contained in the gospel, 
and the exercises of heart and practice conformable thereto, and the hope of 
future happiness and glory with which Christianity inspires when cordially 
embraced ; to which he will soon be brought, under the care of an infinitely 
powerful, wise, and benevolent Saviour, where he will enjoy complete and 
growing felicity, without any end. 

" Sir, however needless, futile, or assuming, this address may appear, 1 
hope it will be received without offi^nce, from one who, with his best wishes 
for your prosperity in all things, is your sincere friend and ready servant, in 
all your lawful desires and commands. Samuel Hopkins, 

Pastor of the First Church in Newport, R. I. 

" Hon. Aaron Burr, 

Vice President of the United States of America." 

Honest old man ! Having loved the friends of his youth, he 
loves them even to the last, and longs to repay their kindness to 
him by laboring for their children and their children's children. His 
right arm had been palsied three years before he wrote this epistle ; 
but he obviously took great pains in fashioning its letters, and it is 

MEMOIR. 259 

penned with a much firmer hand than he exhibited in any of his 
tlieological communications written at tliis date. All his attachments 
were constant. 


It seemed good to the Rewarder of those who call upon him, no' 
to take home tliis laborious but often discouraged pastor, without first 
glndtleiiiiig his heart by a religious interest among his people. The 
friend of Edwards, Buell, and Brainerd, he had preached his first 
sermon in a revival of religioti : it was meet that he should preach 
his last in a like scene. The sun which rose brightly in the morn- 
ing, and had long been hidden beliind the clouds, shone out again a. 
its setting, and smiled upon the patient man who had waited so long 
for its beams. 

In his e.vtreme old age, this faithful minister wrote down the name 
of every member of his congregation, and offered day by day, in 
that little study chamber, a separate prayer for one after another of 
his beloved hearers. He had just completed this series of special 
sii|)])lications, when Mr., afterwards Dr. Caleb J. Tenney, came to 
aid him in his labors. A religious interest began at once. Strong 
men were bowed down. The men who had become " miglity in 
the Scriptures " under his tuition, began to love the truths which 
they had learned. He had been particularly earnest in liis prayers 
for tlie choir, and nearly every one of his singers became joyful 
in the Christian hope. In about a year from that time, thirty-one 
of his hearers had enrolled their names among the disciples of 
Christ, and his ciiurch now contained about a hundred mem- 
bers.* His last sermon was preached during the progress of this 
revival. He had been afflicted with a severe fever in the middle of 
May, so that he was unable to speak in public until the middle of 
.Tuly. He then resumed his work. On the sixteenth of October, 
he preached from 1 Peter v. 8. " Be sober, be vigilant, because your 
adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom 
he may devour." Several who heard the sermon represent it as 
solemn and subduing. He rode home, and as he was helped out of 
hi.s carriage, he said, with a wearied look, to his granddaughter : 
" Now I have done : I can preach no more." He gave up. He 
toiled as long as he could. Let us follow him to his rest. 

* A larger number than at his installation ; (see p. 85, above.) It is to be remcin- 
bercil, that the revolutionary war reduced his society to sixty or seventy families, from a 
hundred and thirty-five. His -church was afterward reduced yet more, and at one time 
it contained only three male members. The Second Congregational Church was also 
diniinishcd, and at one lime depended upon Dr. Hopkins's church for a deacon, to dis 
tribute the communion emblems. 

260 MEMOIR. 


On Monday morning, October seventh, he remained in his ex- 
hausted state, and during the forenoon was seized with a severe fit 
of apoplexy, " which gave him all the appearance of a corpse. Re- 
covering his reason before night, he wonld sometimes whisper as loud 
as he was able, ' O ! the glory, the glory that shall follow.' And 
when reduced to his lowest state, and suffering the acutest of pain, 
his soul seemed to be refreshed by this his favorite exclamation, 
'O.' the glory that shall folloiv: " * 

Soon afterward he was attacked with a disorder of the intestines, 
which greatly reduced him. He lost all appetite for food, and for 
nine weeks took scarcely an ounce of solid nutriment. He sat up 
in his easy chair two or three hours in the day. " I was with him," 
says Dr. Channing, " the day after he was seized with his last sick- 
ness. A minister present prayed with him, and for the contLiuiance 
of his life. When the prayer was finished. Dr. Hopkins said some- 
thing to this effect: 'You should not have asked for my life. I 
can do nothing more. It is time for me to go.' He could not at 
that moment have been distressed by doubts. Perhaps these were 
the last words I heard from him." t 

Says one who attended him through his last sickness : " He pos- 
sessed an uninterrupted peace ; and though he could say but little, 
through his great inward weakness, yet he seemed to dwell in the 
clearest views of divine truth. The glory which would arise to God, 
in the salvation of sinners, filled his soul with ineffable joy. He had 
not one anxious thought about death, — rejoiced that he was in 
the hand of Christ, and wholly at his disposal." | 

.Another says, that often in his sickness he repeated the Psalm: 
" I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and 
my fortress, and my deliverer ; my God, my strength, in whom I 
will trust ; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high 
tower," etc., etc. 

A clergyman bending over him uttered the words, " Most gone." 
" Yes," he replied, " most gone." " And how do you feel, brother 
Hopkins ? " " My anchor is well cast, and my ship, though weather- 
beaten, will outride the storm." ^ 

He was particularly interested in the members of his own parish, 
who made him their farewell visits ; and although he could not say 
much to the young converts, he gave them " his approbation and his 

Three days before his death, he received a visit from a youth over 
whom he had watched with earnest but seemingly iiseless care. 

* Ferguson's Memoir, p. 125. J Sketches, Introduction, p. xx. 

t Letter of February 14, 1840. $ Ferguson's Memoir, p. 126. 

MEMOIR. 261 

Taking the young man by the hand, he remarked : " 1 am feeble, 
and cannot say nmch. I hare said all that I can say. With my last 
words I tell yon, ' Religion is the one thing needfuV " He pressed 
the hand of his visitor still more closely, while he added : " ^Vnd 
now I am going to die, and I am glad of it." 

During the eighteenth and nineteenth of December, writes one 
who was familiar with his last scenes, " his bodily distress was be- 
yond description." His reason was perfect to the last, and his 
patience in his agonies, astonishing. After a very distressing turn, 
we laid him down in his bed. He seemed easier ; and while a num- 
ber of us were sitting round him, he breathed his last, without a sigh 
or a groan ; nor could we tell the moment in which he went ! " * 

So died this calm man, on the twentieth of December, 1803, in the 
sixty-third year of his Christian profession, in the sixty-second year 
of his ministry, in the eighty-third year of his age ; an old disciple. 


There had been, as we have already seen, an intimate friendship 
of more than forty years, between this deceased father and Dr. Levi 
Hart, of Preston, Connecticut. These two divines had made an 
agreement, that when either of them died his funeral sermon should, 
if possible, be preached by the survivor. In conformity with this 
plan, Dr. Hart pronounced the discourse, before a large auditory,! 
at the funeral of his venerated friend. The sermon was published 
soon afterward. I The Newport Mercury of December 24, 1803, con- 
tains the following notice of the funeral scene : 

* Sketches, Introduction, pp. xx. xxi. 

t It was affecting to see the number of the colored population, who testified their 
gratitude to the deceased by attending his funeral. 

X See West's Sketches, pp. 217-210. After a brief notice of the principal events in 
Dr. Hopkins's life. Dr. Hart says : 

" Those who best knew him, and are most able to judge of ministerial eminence, will 
agree that he was, even beyond most evangelical ministers, the chariot of Israel and the 
horsemen thereof, in all those respects which have been already noticed. For this im- 
portant work he was cmincully qualified by natural endowments, acquired knowledge, 
and divine grace. 

" His instructions, as a Christian teacher, were plain, clear, impressive and entertain- 
ing to the attentive hearer, conveying the most essential and practical knowledge. His 
example confirmed to his hearers the truths and duties which ho taught. He was emi- 
nently useful to young ministers, and to those preparing for the Christian ministry, by 
\"crbal instructions, and 1)3- various publications on theological subjects. All his printed 
works may be read with profit, and especially the System of Divinity, in two volumes, 
wliich he published in the latter part of his life. 

■• We add, that he was the defence and safely to the church by his prayers ; in which 
we have abundant reason to believe he was devout, ardent, and persevering to the last. 
In these respects, and others not mentioned, he was a pillar in the church below, a man 
to make up the hedge and stand in the gap. 

" While we drop the filial tear in committing his venerable dust to the house of 
silence, as a common loss to the church on earth, still more oppressive sorrow must 
pierce the hearts of his family connections and the people of his charge." — 

2621 MEMOIR. 

" Help, Lord, for the godly cease; for the faithful fail from among the children 

of men. 
" Died, on Tuesday evening^, the twentieth instant, the Reverend Samuel 
Hopkins, S. T. D., in the eighty-third year of his age, and for more than 
thirty three years pastor of the First Congregational Church in this town. He 
was as blameless in his private character as distinguished by his writings ; 
and was eminently useful in all his relations to the church and to society. 
His funeral was attended yesterday afternoon, at the meeting-house in which 
he had ministered, and an instructive and pathetic discourse was delivered on 
the occasion, by the Rev. Dr. Hart, of Preston, from the words: 'My Fa- 
ther ! my Father ! the chariot of Israel and the horsemen tliereof.' " (2 Kings 
ii. 12.)* 

The remains of this godly man were interred in the burial-place 
adjoining his meeting-house. They lay near his old pulpit. A 
horizontal tablet was placed over them, and on it was inscribed the 
following epitaph : f 







DEC. ao'h, A. D. 1803 ; 











Years rolled by, and the two churches over which Dr. Patten 
and Dr. Hopkins had been stationed as pastors, nobly forgot their 

* The newspapers of that day gave only brief notices of the deceased. The Inde- 
pendent Chronicle, of Boston, for January 2, 1804, merely announced : " In Newport, 
after a long and tedious illness, which he sustained with great philosophy and Christian 
fortitude," Rev. S. H., etc., etc. 

t The authorship of this epitaph has been ascribed by some to Dr. Patten ; by others, 
to Dr. Channing ; by others still, with more probability, to Dr. Caleb J. Tenney. 

MEMOIR. !^63 

differences, and were reunited after a separation of more than a 
century. They erected a new house of worship, and in front of that 
house now hes gathered the dust of those two pastors who, having 
been united pleasantly in life, are not divided in death. The re- 
mains of Dr. Hopkins were removed to their new resting-place, on 
the twenty-fourth of October, 1849. They are covered by the same 
freestone slab which was placed over them nearly a half century be- 
fore. They repose on one of the most beautiful islands in the coun- 
try, and the waves and breezes of the neighboring ocean remind us of 
the free and pure thoughts, with which the peaceful sleeper was once 
animated. Whoever enters the sanctuary where the descendants 
of his parishioners worship, now looks upon his grave. How many 
and what differing classes of men, will pause with interest at that ven- 
erable stone. He was a preacher to three distinct races of men ; 
and the friends of the Indian and the African will stop to read his 
epitaph, and pay a tribute to his comprehensive charity. Tiie ad- 
mirers of Brainerd, and Whitefield, and Buell, and Bellamy, and the 
Edwardses, — of Andrew Fuller, .Tohn Erskine, John Ryland, — 
will bend over the ashes of one whom these great men esteemed as 
a brother or a guide. The historian will linger at the grave of the 
scholar who, indigent, desponding, solitary, produced a deep impres- 
sion on clergymen and laymen in our own and the fatherland, and 
has visibly modified the faith of his opposers even, and has now for 
a hundred yeai's been raising the popular standard of orthodoxy, and 
has made a knowledge of his life essential to a correct estimate of 
the New England faith.. The metaphysician will stop to speculate 
on the powers of him who is seen at one time in the wilderness with 
an Indian scout, at another time in his study translating a page of 
Calvin or Van Mastricht, — here conversing with Emmons on bap- 
tism, and therewith Channing on slavery; — now writing on the 
final cause of all things to President Davies, tli^n teaching the most 
recondite doctrines of the gospel to his negro missionaries, and again 
corresponding with the government of Sierra Leone. The philan- 
thropist will pause to wonder at the man, who went as far in advance 
of his age in the cause of moral improvement as in the cause 
of theological science ; who anticipated several of the benevolent 
operations of our own day, and united in an uncommon degree the 
speculative with the practical tendencies. The humble Christian 
will forget the prejudices of school and party, and will commend 
the spirit of the man who made it the great aim of his speculations, 
and of his life-long discipline, to dethrone self and to exalt Je- 
hovah, and who has associated his very name with the epithet 
«* disinterested." 

In the year 1850, a monument was erected to the memory of Dr. 
Hopkins, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, by the generosity of 

264 MEMOIR. 

Hon. Charles W. Hopkins ; the same gentleman who has rendered 
such liberal aid in pubhshing tlie edition of his ancestor's collected 
works. It is a solid and beautiful structure of Italian marble. It 
bears the following inscription : 








DECEMBER 20, 1803, AGED 83 YEARS: 







ON THE 9ih OF MARCH, 1838: 

WHO DIED JULY 32, 1831. AGED 80. YEARS. 


Since the preceding Memoir was printed, the Librarian of the 
New England Historic Genealogical Society has politely copied for 
the present biographer, four letters of Dr. Hopkins to Rev. Thomas 
Foxcroft, of Boston. The following are extracts from the first let- 
ter, dated December 5, 1759 : 

" Mr. Edwards's children thankfully accept your kind offer to advise and 
assist them in the proposed publication of some of their father's manuscripts, 
and accordingly have sent some to you. The ' Dissertation on the Nature 
of True Virtue,' which has been promised to the world, you will see is not 
completely fitted for the press. Mr. Edwards read it to me and some others, 
before he had wrote on Original Sin ; and then told us he intended to write it 
over again before it went to the press, by which he should doubtless make 
some alterations for the better, by altering some words, shortening some par- 
agraphs, making some sentences more perspicuous, &c. He has often told 
me that he found such advantages by transcribing, that he designed always to 
be at the pains in all his future publications. If this piece therefore sees the 
light, it must appear under the disadvantage of the want of his Jinishin£r hand. 
VVhat is said in showing what is true virtue, I think, will be plain and easy to 
common capacities ; but Avhat is said in confutation of the false notions of 
virtue which some moral phdosophers have advanced, I conceive, will be ob- 
jected against by many, as metaphysical and abstruse ; and will not be so 
readily understood by common people. For this reason, it has been inquired 
whether it is proper to have a number of practical sermons in the same vol- 
ume with this, and whether it would not be best to have a volume of ' Ser- 
mons ' published first ; lest, if this should not find acceptance among common 
people, (without whose assistance nothing of this kind can be done,) it might 
discourage future publications of some things more practical. When Mr. 
Edwards wrote it, he designed it should precede what he has wrote on Origi- 
nal Sin ; and when he failed of effecting that, determined to publish it with 
and as introductory to a ' Treatise on Efficacious Grace,' which he had in 
view, and had made considerable preparation for it. 

" The ' Dissertation on the End of God in creating the World,' you will 
see, was wrote before the other, and is as much prepared for the press as the 
latter. This was designed to accompany a ' Treatise on Predestination, or 
the Decrees of God,' which was the next thing Mr. Edwards designed to pub- 
lish. Whether 'tis best to publish this, with that on Virtue, or whether 'tis 
best to postpone the publication of it, is left to your judgment and advice. 
Some have thought that if a way would be found out to got these two Disser- 
tations printed in England, (perhaps without any name,) they would hereby 
be rendered more serviceable to mankind. Mrs. Edwards told me, the last 
time I saw her, that she had projected a scheme to get this effected ; but as 
our last interview was short, she did not inform me what it was. Perhaps if 
this project should be approved, 'tis impracticable. 

" The same was proposed to Mr. Edwards, with respect to his ' Treatise on 
the Freedom of the Will ; ' and he highly approved of it, if it had been thought 
of sooner ; but it was then too late, proposals for subscription being published. 

'* I have selected forty-six volumes of manuscript sermons, which are, in 


my judgment, as good and suitable to be published as any which I have yet 
read, (for I have not read thein all yet.) The thirty sermons on Isaiah li. 8, 
on many accounts, are, with me, preferable for a present and first publication. 
They may be considered as the groundwork and epitome of a large work 
which Mr. Edwards designed to publish, if he had lived — what he called ' A 
History of the Work of Redemption.' " 

in a letter to Mr. Foxcroft, dated Jan. 9, 1761, Dr. Hopkins adds : 

"I believe Mr. Edwards supposed that his treatise on the 'Nature of True 
Virtue ' fully answered what he promises in his book [on] Original Sin, (p. 
389.) He supposed that by showing what [true] virtue is, and, as a conse- 
quence of this, what is not virtue, he effectually answers all the objections 
there mentioned, and put a sufficient and full answer into the mouth of every 
one who should have such objections thrown in his way, though he docs not 
mention the objections in that treatise, or answer them as being made against 
the doctrine of Original Sin. If Mr. Edwards has proved that what he calls 
virtue is indeed virtue, and that what Arminians have called virtue is in fact 
no virtue at all, then he has proved that the ohjedions mentioned in the pas- 
sage above referred to, have no weight in them, and so fully answers them. 
And while he particularly considers, and proves, which he does in that trea- 
tise, (for much the bigger part of it is taken up about this, if I don't mistake,) 
that Arminians' virtue, such as their moral sense, &c., is no virtue at all. 
these objections of theirs are ^particularly considered.'' ^^ 

In other letters, Hopkins speaks of Dr. Jolm Erskine's " zeal 
about the publication of the tvro dissertations on Virtue and the End 
©f God" in creating the world, and adds: "I doubt not but that 
hundreds of subscriptions may be easily got for them in America," 
and proposes that the sale of President Edwards's Works " shall be 
for the benefit of bis [President E.'s] two youngest sons." The disap- 
pointment of Hopkins's expectations with regard to the assistance to 
be rendered by Mr. Foxcroft, and to the sale of President Edwards's 
Works, lias been intimated on pp. 217-219, above. 

In a letter dated April 6, 17G1, Dr. Hopkins thus alludes to his 
own manuscript Memoir of President Edwards, which he transcribed 
for publication " upon Sir [i. e.. Dr. Jonathan] Edwards's desire : " 

" Imperfect as it is, it has cost me much time and labor ; much more than I 
thought of, when I undertook it. — The Rev. Messrs. Bellamy and Brinsmade 
have seen it, and it has obtained their imprimatur. Mr. Edwards's children, 
who have come to the years of discretion, have read it, and approve.* — If it 
shall be thought best to publish it, I must desire you, Reverend sir, to be so 
good as to correct the grammar, spelling, and printing, where you find a defi- 
ciency, which doubtless you will do in many places Some of Mr. Ed- 
wards's children object against giving the title of President Edv.-ards, especially 
at the beginning, as he was president so short a time as that he did not obtain 
the epithet among many ; and [it] will be distasteful, and perhaps provoking 
to some readers, who were not so friendly to Mr. Edwards. This I chderfully 
submit to your better judgment, as a matter in which I am at some loss." 

* The dissatisfaction of one or two of President Edwards's children with Hopkins's 
Memoir, (see p. 213, above,) was not felt until many years after the Memoir was pub- 
lished, and after their father had obtained a European reputation. 



Systematic Divinity is considered and treated, by many, 
with slight and contempt. And if a book be written in this 
form, and published under the title of a System or Body of 
Divinity, this is a sufficient reason, with them, to neglect it, 
as not worthy their attention. But can this be supported by 
any good reason ? Is not a System of Divinity as proper and 
important as a System of Jurisprudence, Physic, or Natural 
Philosophy ? 

If the Bible be a revelation from heaven, it contains a sys- 
tem of consistent important doctrines ; which are so con- 
nected, and implied in each other, that one cannot be so well 
understood, if detached from aU the rest, and considered by it- 
self; and some must be fii'st known, before others can be seen 
in a proper and true light. When all these are stated, and 
explained, according to Scripture, and in their true order, con- 
nection, and dependence, a System of Doctrines is formed. 
This every person must do, in some measure and degree, who 
understands the Bible. And he who would assist others in 
doing this, and set the Doctrines of Christianity in a clear 
light, and to the best advantage to be understood, will, of 
course, form a System of Truths ; and so far as he falls 
short of this, or deviates from it, he must be defective and 

VOL. I. 1 


K the following system do, indeed, contain the chief and 
most important doctrines of Christianity, and they be, in any 
good measm-e, explained and vindicated, showing their con- 
sistence and connection with each other, the reader, it is 
hoped, will get some advantage by it. If it should be thought 
by any that it contains* great errors and inconsistencies, it is 
to be wished, for their sake, and for the sake of truth, that 
they would not confidently rest in their conclusion, or drop 
the subject, till they are able to fiix on a system of truths 
more consistent, and which can be better supported by the 
Scripture, and are more agreeable to sound reason. 

It is presumed the author will not be suspected of going 
through the labor of composing the following work with a 
view of rendering himself popular, and obtaining the general 
applause ; or that he has sought to " please men," The most 
that can be reasonably expected is, that it may serve to con- 
firm the friends of truth in the doctrines contained in the 
Scripture ; and enlighten some of those who have been in the 
dark respecting some truths, and have been inconsistent with 
themselves in the doctrines they have espoused ; and that it 
may assist the honest inquirers to see what are the leading 
and most important doctrines of divine revelation ; particularly 
those who are candidates for the evangelical ministry. 

It is not pretended that every doctrine of Christianity is 
expressly mentioned in this System ; but that the most im- 
portant and essential truths are brought into view; and of 
these some are treated more concisely, and others are more 
particularly examined and vindicated, as was judged most 
convenient and useful. Nor was it thought necessary, or 
expedient, to mention all the objections which have been 
made to the doctrines here advanced, as they are sufficiently 
obviated, by establishing the truth, from Scripture and reason ; 
and as this would have enlarged the work to an undesirable 


length, those only are mentioned, by an answer to wliich, the 
truth is more explained and established. 

The same sentiments are brought into view, and repeated, 
in a number of instances, which could not well be avoided, in 
such a work ; and it is hoped that such repetitions will not 
be inconvenient or tedious to the reader. 

To the most correct and elegant style the author makes 
no pretension ; as this is not his talent. If the words and 
-expressions be not ambiguous, but are suited to convey the 
ideas designed to be communicated to the mind of the reader 
with ease and clearness, the chief and most important end of 
language is answered; and it is hoped, that they who are, 
with proper attention and concern, inquiring after the truth, 
wtH exercise so much candor, as not to be oifended, or slight 
it, though it be not expressed in words and a style more agreea- 
ble to their nice and critical taste; and they may observe a 
number of inaccuracies. 

This work has been undertaken and prosecuted, under a 
conviction, that a performance of this kind is much wanted; 
and, if well executed, would be very useful, and greatly serve 
the cause of truth and religion. It is to be wished there were 
a more able hand disposed to execute it ; but as none appeared 
to do it, the author has done his best. Yet he doubts not 
that there are many defects ; and is not confident that he has 
made no mistakes in less important points ; w^hile he has 
not the least doubt that the chief and leading doctrines here 
advanced are contained in the Bible, and are important and 
everlasting truths ; and that all those sentiments, and schemes 
of doctrine and religion, which are wholly inconsistent ^v^th 
these, and contrary to them, are not consistent with the Bible, 
or with one another; and, if followed in their just conse- 
quences, will lead to universal scepticism, and, which is the 
same indeed, to the horrible darkness of atheism itself. 


The truth is great, and has omnipotence to support it, and 
therefore will prevail ; and all erroneous doctrines, and false 
religion, will be utterly abolished. And there is no reason to 
doubt, that light wiU so increase in the church, and men will 
be raised up, who will make such advances in opening the 
Scripture, and in the knowledge of divine truth, that what is 
now done and written will be so far superseded, as to appear 
imperfect and inconsiderable, compared with that superior 
light with which the church will then be blessed. Never- 
theless, if publishing that to which we have noiu attained 
may be a mean of making such advances, and a proper and 
necessary step to it, the labor and expense of doing it will 
be abundantly compensated. 

Newport, August 20, 1792. 




It is evident from reason, fact, and experience, that man- 
kind stand in need of a revelation from God, in order to know 
what God is — what is their own true state and moral char- 
acter — whether he be reconcilable to them who have rebelled 
against him — and if he be, what is the method he has ap- 
pointed, in which he will be reconciled ; and what man must 
be and do in order to find acceptance in his sight; — wherein 
true happiness consists — whether there be another state — 
what are the favors he will grant, in a future state, to those 
who serve and please him in this Ufe — what are his grand 
designs in creating and governing the world, etc. The igno- 
rance and uncertainty, with respect to these most important 
points, in which all men have been and still are, who have 
enjoyed no such revelation, is a constant, striking evidence 
of this. 

There are, indeed, those who refuse to admit this evidence ; 
and insist that human reason alone, ^^nassisted by any revela- 
tion, except what is made in the works of creation and provi- 
dence, is sufficient to investigate every necessary and important 
truth ; and therefore tliink themselves authorized to reject and 
despise every other revelation that pretends to come from God, 
as the contrivance and production of designing, or weak, 
deluded men. But while they entertain so high an opinion 
of human reason, and especially their own, in the face of the 
glaring evidence from fact and experiment just now mentioned, 
they have produced an incontestable evidence of their own 
sad mistake ; for, upon examination, the writings of the deists 
are found to contain numerous contradictions to each other, 
on points of the highest moment ; and most of them have 


embraced for truth many tenets most unreasonable and 
absurd. Thus, when they have renounced revelation, and 
boasted of their own reason, and relied upon that as a suffi- 
cient and infallible guide, they have all, or most of them, run 
into darkness and delusion. And at the same time, there is 
abundant evidence, that all the real light and knowledge they 
appear to have in divine things, which they attribute to the 
unassisted exercise of their own reason, and which is more 
than the benighted heathen have, originated from that very 
revelation which they discard and despise. With great pro- 
priety, therefore, they have been compared to a man who is in 
a room, illuminated by the bright shining of a candle, and 
thereby is assisted to behold the objects around him dis- 
tinctly; — but being ignorant of the assistance which he has 
from the candle, imagines he discerns those objects by the 
strength of his own sight ; and therefore despises and en- 
deavors to extinguish that light, which, if withdrawn, would 
leave him wholly in the dark.* Besides, there is this further 
evidence against them, and in favor of the revelation which 
they renounce, namely, it does not appear that, by all their 
wi'itings and attempts, they have made any reformation in the 
morals of men, or that so much as one man has been reclaimed 
from a vicious course of life, and become sober, humble, 
benevolent, pious, and devout, by being made a convert to 
them ; — but, on the contrary, most, if not all their disciples, 
are of a character dkectly the reverse of this ; and they are 
most admired by men of vicious character, or who at least are 
evidently without those virtues which are essential to constitute 
a truly religious man. 

Moreover, if the revelation they discard represents men to 
be in such a state of depravity and vicious blindness as to be 
disposed to shut their eyes against the clearest light, and to 
treat it as these men in fact do treat the Bible, and foretells 
this same treatment and conduct of theirs, as it certainly does ; 
while they are thus slighting and rejecting it, they are really 
giving a strong evidence of its divine original. 

But, to return : the usefulness and necessity of such a reve- 
lation is abundantly evident from fact, and has been implicitly 
or expressly acknowledged by many of the most wise and 
inquisitive among the heathen.f Hence we may conclude 
that God has given one to men ; and when we find ourselves 
in possession of a book which has all the marks and evidence 

* See LelancVs View of the Deistical Writers. And Clarke on Revealed Re- 
ligion. Proposition vii. 

t See Dr. Clarke on the Truth and Certainty of the Christian Revelation. 
Proposition vii. 


that we can reasonably expect or desire, that it is indeed from 
God, and suited to answer all the ends of a divine revelation, 
we shall be very criminal, if we do not receive it with gratitude, 
and improve it to promote all the important purposes for 
which it is given. 

Such a revelation we find to be contamed in the book called 
the Bible, or the Holy Scriptures. For while all other pre- 
tended revelations from God, which have been, or now are, 
found among men, are without all proper evidence of their 
being such, and carry evident marks of imposture, which has 
been abundantly demonstrated, by those who have examined 
them ; this has stood the test of the severest scrutiny both of 
its friends and enemies, and the more it has been examined, 
the more clearly does it appear, that all the objections which 
have been made against it are futile and groundless ; and 
that there is sufficient and abundant evidence, that it is from 
God, suited to give satisfaction and a well-gi-ounded assurance 
of its divine original, to every impartial, honest mind. 

The first part of this book was written by Moses, after he 
had given abundant evidence, by a series of astonishing 
mhacles, done in the sight of the Egyptians, and all Israel, 
that he spake and acted under the influence and direction of 
the Supreme Ruler of the universe, and had sufficiently estab- 
lished his character, as a prophet divinely inspned. Moses 
said he was sent by Jehovah, the only true God, the God of 
Israel, to demand of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, to let his 
people go out from under his oppressive hand ; and foretold 
that if he refused to do it, God would slay his first-born son. 
Pharaoh said he knew not who Jehovah was, and bid defiance 
to him, declaring he would pay no regard to his demand. 
This gave opportunity for an open trial and decision, whether 
Jehovah, the God of Israel, was the true God, or the gods of 
Pharaoh and the Egyptians. The priests and the magicians 
of Egypt were collected, and entered the dispute with Moses. 
They ^^TOught several miracles, in imitation of those which 
Moses did in the name of the God of Israel ; but there was 
an evident, decided superiority in those ^Vl•ought by Jehovah. 
And the contest went on, till at length they were not able to 
stand before Moses, and confessed publicly that Jehovah was 
God, and superior to theirs. Moses went on doing wonders, 
in the sight of all Egypt, and infficting various successive 
judgments on Pharaoh, and on the Egyptians ; at the same 
time particularly foretelling the miraculous chastisement which 
Jehovah had revealed to him he would inflict. At length, 
Moses informed Pharaoh, that if he should still persist in re- 
fusing to let Israel go out of Egypt, Jehovah had said to him, 


that he would slay aU the first-born in Egypt ; and this was 
foretold to all Israel ; which accordingly came to pass ; and 
the Egyptians were made to fear and tremble before the God 
of li^rael, and entreated his people to pray to him for them, 
acknowledging he was the supreme God. Thus Israel went 
out of Egypt, as .Jehovah had promised they should, and were 
led through the Red Sea, the waters dividing to make them a 
way, at the direction and command of then God ; while 
Pharaoh and the Egyptians, who w'ere so hardy as to follow 
them, were all drowned in the waters. Thus Jehovah publicly 
triumphed over all the gods of Egypt, and executed judgment 
upon them ; and, by the fullest and most incontestable evi- 
dence, established his character as the only true God. The 
people of Israel felt, and solemnly acknowledged this, at the 
Red Sea ; and they were led on by the hand of Moses, at- 
tended with a constant com-se of miracles, unto Mount Sinai. 
On that mount, God appeared in a manner suited to manifest 
his presence and awful glorious majesty, and excite their ut- 
most attention, fear, and reverence ; and then, from the top of 
the mountain, out of the fire, with a voice that could be dis- 
tinctly heard by all that vast multitude, consisting of at least 
three millions of people, he spake the ten commandments, and 
added no more. They were afterwards A\T:itten on two tables 
of stone, by the finger of God ; wliich was most probably the 
first writing by letters in this world.* And Moses, being 
taught of God to read it, and so how to write, was directed 
and inspired by God to wa-ite the history of the creation of the 
world, and the events which had taken place since ; and of 
mankind, so far as was necessary these things should be re- 
corded and known ; and, more particularly, the history of the 
origin of the Hebrews, and the events of divine Providence 
respecting them. As this is the first and oldest, so it is the 
only authentic history of the creation of the world, and of 
mankind, from the beginning to that time, which ^s an era of 
about two thousand five hundi'ed years. Moses also wrote a 
code of laws for that people, which lie said Avere dictated to 
him by God, containing many promises and threatenings, 
together with a number of typical institutions, which were 
shadows of things to come. And there are many predictions 
in his writings, which have already come to pass ; especially 
that God would raise up unto them that great prophet, the 
Messiah, of whom he himself was a type ; and if they would 
not hear him, they should be destroyed. 

God having thus estabfished his character, as the only true 

* See Dr. Winder's History of the Rise, Progress, Declension, and Revival of 
Knowledge, chiefly religious. 


God, by abundant and most clear evidence, and magnified 
Moses in the sight of the Egyptians and all Israel, as his 
servant and prophet, directed and inspired by him both to do, 
and to say, all that he did and said, in the name of Jehovah ; 
he forbid them to hearken to a prophet, or any other person, 
who should arise and do wonders and miracles, not in the 
name of Jehovah, but of some other god, with a view to draw 
them away from obedience to the God of Israel, to worship 
and serve other gods. And every one who will attentively 
consider the subject, must at once see both the reasonableness 
of this injunction, and the wisdom and goodness of God in 
laying a proper foundation for it, and then giving it by Moses 
to Israel. For Jehovah having given all the evidence that could 
be reasonably expected or desired, by a series of public incon- 
testable miracles, appearances, words, and works, that he was 
the only true God ; which aU Israel had, under the fuUest and 
most rational conviction, acknowledged, over and over again, 
and under this conviction, solemnly given themselves up to 
him, as their God, and promised to renounce all other gods, 
and cleave to, and obey Jehovah alone, as their God ; it be- 
came them never from that time to call in question what had 
been made so abundantly evident, but with the greatest as- 
sm'ance, and the most sincere abhorrence, reject every thing 
which was evidently contrary to the light and revelation they 
had received ; and not pay the least regard to any wonders 
and miracles pretended to be done, or really wrought, to prove 
that Jehovah was not the only true God, and in favor of other 

These things have been observed, to show with what 
abundant evidence and assurance the church of Israel re- 
ceived the writings of Moses, as divine oracles, the infallible 
dictates of Heaven, which he was inspired to reveal and com- 
municate ; while it is at the same time acknowledged there 
are many other things which have not been here brought into 
view, which serve to strengthen this evidence, and show that 
to make any other supposition, and not to admit these writings 
as the oracles of Heaven, is most absm-d, shutting the eyes 
against the most glaring light, and doing violence to every 
principle of reason. 

After Moses, other prophets and inspu-ed men were raised 
up to \vTite the history of that nation ; to declare the will 
of God, in reproving, dh-ecting, and exhorting ; and adding 
threatenings and promises, to deter them from rebellion against 
Jehovah, and excite them to obey him. Whose VvTritings also 
contain innumerable predictions of things to come, many of 
which are akeady come to pass; those in particular which 


foretold the coming of the Messiah, his incarnation, death, 
resurrection, exaltation, and reign ; and the events that should 
attend his coming with regard both to Jews and Gentiles, 
etc. And in these WTitings there is a constant reference to 
the things contained in the writings of Moses, the wonders 
wrought by his hand, when they were delivered from a state 
of bondage in Egypt, etc., and to the institutions and laws, 
which by him were given to Israel ; and at the same time 
there is a perfect consistence and harmony betw^een these 
writings and those of Moses. 

The last prophet, whose WTitings we have, lived about four 
hundred years before Christ ; so that the sacred writings which 
were given to the church of Israel, and which they received as 
divine oracles, and have carefuUy kept and preserved, not only 
to the time of the incarnation of Christ, but even down to this 
day, were ^\Titten at different times, by different men, through 
the space of above a thousand years, from Moses, the first, to 
Malachi, the last WTiter. And yet they all agi-ee ; and the 
latter constantly refer to the waitings of Moses, and what is 
contained in them ; and therefore they mutually strengthen 
the evidence, that they aU WTote by inspii-ation, as most of 
them declared they did. And Malachi concludes with fore- 
telling the coming of Christ, and directing the church of Israel 
to attend to the laws and institutions of Moses, and obey 
them, until Christ should come ; and to expect no more divine 
revelation, tiff that time ; plainly intimating, that then some 
fm-ther revelations from God should be given to the church. 
(Mai. iv. 4, 5.) Thus the standing, written revelation, given to 
the Jewish church, was finished ; and they were commanded 
not to attempt to make, or expect any addition to it, tiU the 
days of the Messiah. 

Should it be said, that perhaps all these WTitings were forged 
by some wicked, designing man, or set of men, and that the 
facts and miracles therein related never did take place, nor was 
Moses, or any other man, inspired of God to write these things, 
but they Avere imposed upon that nation, and they were made 
to believe that which never had any reality ; such a suppo- 
sition wdll appear most unreasonable, and even impossible, on 
the least reflection. When, and how, could this be done ? 
How could that nation, even aU of them, old and young, 
learned and unlearned, at any time be made to believe that aU 
these things related in the waitings of Moses concerned them, 
and which he said took place publicly, and that they were 
en and acknowledged by the whole nation ; and that aU 

ise rites and law^s had been received in a mkaculous way 

Ti Jehovah, by their ancestors, and handed down, and prac- 


tised from generation to generation, if there was no truth in all 
this ; but they were all noiv invented, and they never had any 
existence, or were heard of before, by any of them ? This is 
perfectly incredible, and absolutely impossible. And it is 
equally incredible, that a whole nation should at any time 
receive such writings, and pretend they were all genuine and 
true, and handed down from their fathers, when at the same 
time they knew there was no truth in it, but was real impos- 
ture and delusion. Who can believe that any nation or people 
under heaven could ever be brought to do this, and receive 
and practise all those burdensome rites and ceremonies, and 
hand them down to their children as the institutions of Heaven, 
when they knew it was all a cheat ? And this will appear yet 
more incredible, if possible, when we observe, that these \\Tit- 
ings give no agreeable, flattering idea of that nation, as a vrise, 
excellent, and honorable people; but, contrary to this, they 
are represented as a very stupid, ungrateful, rebellious people, 
always disposed to abuse and revolt from their God, and vio- 
late the most sacred obligations and solemn vows, by Vxiiicli 
they were constantly incurring the displeasure of Jehovah ; 
and were severely punished, from time to time, for their horrid 
impiety, and most stupid idolatry, and their obstinate per- 
severance in shameful unrighteousness and cruelty towards 
each other. If a people could forge and receive a history of 
themselves as a nation, in which there was no truth ; or if it 
were contrived and formed by any set of men, or by any one 
man among them, with a desigii to impose it on the nation, 
to be received by them as genuine, we may be sure it would 
be written in favor of that nation, and so as to flatter their 
selfishness, pride, and vanity, instead of representing them, as 
these \\Titing3 do that nation, in a disagreeable, shameful, 
odious light. 

Besides, these \\Titings have no marks, not the least appear- 
ance of imposture and forgery, when most critically examined; 
but all appearance that can be desired, that they are genuine, 
and were written at the different times, and in the different 
circumstances, in which they arc said to have been written, 
and by those different men : whereas, if they were a forg(Ty, 
and not wn-itten by inspiration, it cannot be supposed possible 
they should carry all those marks of genuineness, and none of 
the contrary. 

Moreover, they contnin a system of truths, and point out 
and enjoin commands and duties to God and our neighbor, 
which bespeak their divine original, and arc worthy to be 
revealed by God; and which no ungodly, selfish, designing 
impostor, (and such these writers must be, if they wrote not 


by inspiration,) would ever think of, and much less be disposed 
to publish and enjoin. 

The promised Messiah at length made his appearance in 
the world, even at the very time in which it was foretold he 
should come ! the way for his coming having been prepared 
by his harbinger, as was particularly predicted by Isaiah ; and 
by Malachi, in the last words of the Old Testament. 

It having been abundantly proved, as has been observed and 
shown, that Jehovah, the God of Israel, was the only true 
God, and that the WTitings in their hands -were given by divine 
inspiration, in which the coming of the Messiah and his future 
kingdom were foretold, and particularly described ; all that was 
now necessary, in order to his being on good gi-ound received 
as king of the church, was to give proper evidence that he was 
the very person, the promised Savior of the world. This was 
done not only by his appearing at the time, and in the charac- 
ter and circumstances, which were foretold by the prophets, 
but by working a series of mu'acles, done in a public manner ; 
and by his predicting many things, which soon came to pass, 
especially his own death, and the particular circumstances of 
it, and that he would rise again on the third day. He was 
accordingly put to death, wdiich his enemies as well as friends 
confess ; and if he did rise again, as he said he would, the 
evidence that he was the Messiah, the same Jehovah who was 
the God of Israel, would be complete, and none could rea- 
sonably desij'e more. 

That he did rise on the third day; and when he had con- 
tinued on earth above forty days, conversing with his disciples 
and friends, and giving them insti'uctions and commands, left 
the world and ascended to heaven, there were a competent 
number of chosen witnesses, who declared they were eye and 
ear witnesses of this ; and that they had the most satisfactory, 
full, and abundant evidence of it. And further, to prove the 
truth of it, they had power to work innumerable miracles in 
the name of Jesus of Nazareth, as a testimony that he was 
alive, and consequently the Son of God, and Savior of the 
v/orld. And they gave up all their worldly interest in this 
cause ; and subjected themselves to poverty, hatred and re- 
proach of men ; and to various hardships and cruel sufferings, 
and even to death, in bearing witness to this truth, and those 
that are implied__ in it, and preaching the gospel ; which was 
attended by an invisible mighty power, purifying and renewing 
the hearts of multitudes, and leading them to renounce theu* 
former delusions and wicked ways, and to believe in Christ, 
and obey him ; who became so many witnesses of the truth 
and power of Christianity. 


A history of these things was written by those who had the 
most certain knowledge of them, and intimate acquaintance 
with them, giving an account of the birth, life, death, and 
resurrection of Christ, of the doctrines which he taught, the 
instructions and commands he gave, and the miracles which 
were wrought by him, etc. Also, a history was wnritten of 
what took place for a number of years after the ascension of 
Christ to heaven ; the promised gift of his Spirit to the apos- 
tles and others, whereby they were enabled to speak different 
languages, and to work miracles ; their bearing testimony for 
Christ, and |)reaching with great success, not only to the Jews, 
but to the Gentile nations, and erecting churches in many 
parts of the world, etc. This history of Christ and his apostles 
is ^\Titten in a manner remarkably different from that of any 
other history WTitten by men not inspired. It is simple, plain, 
and concise, consisting only in the most intelligible narration 
of facts, of what was said and done, without justifying or 
condemning any person ; not giving the least encomium, or 
bestowing any praise on Christ himself, or any of his friends, 
nor saying a word in their favor; not reproaching or con- 
demning their enemies, or any person, or speaking against 
them ; but confining themselves to a plain history of simple 
facts, without any comments of their own, against any one, 
or in favor of him. This, by the way, is a striking evidence, 
among others innumerable, that these wn-itino^s " came not by 
the will of man," but were composed under the direction and 
superintendency of the Holy Ghost, the authors being inspired 
and moved by him.* 

We have also the writings of several of the apostles of 
Christ, containing a number of letters, which they WTote to 
churches, and to some particular persons, in which the doc- 
trines and duties of Christianity, and the institutions and laws 
of Christ, are more particularly explained and inculcated. And 
last of all, there is a book, called " The Revelation of Jesus 
Christ, which he sent and signified by his angel unto his ser- 
vant John." This the apostle John A\Tote in his advanced 

• " It is remarkable, that through the whole of their histories, the evange- 
lists have not passed one encomium upon Jesus, or upon any of his friends : nor 
thrown out one reflection against his enemies ; though much of both kinds 
might have been, and no doubt would have been done by them, had they been 
governed either by a spirit of imposture or enthusiasm. Christ's life is not 
praised in the Gospels ; his death is not lamented ; his friends are not com- 
mended ; his enemies are not reproached, nor even blamed ; but every thing is 
told, naked and unadorned, just as it took place ; and all who read are left to 
judge, and make reflections for themselves. A manner of writing which the 
historians never would have fallen into, had not their minds been imder the 
guidance of the most sober reason, and deeply impressed with the dignity, im- 
portance, and truth of their subject." — Mack7iight's Harmony of the Gospels. 
VOL. I. 2 


age, after the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, when 
he was suffering for the cause of Christ, being banished to a 
desolate island, after his character had been long estabUshed 
as an apostle of Christ, by miracles, and a holy Ufe. He says, 
he received this revelation from Christ, and was by him directed 
to A\Tite it, just as he here has done. It contains, among other 
things, a representation of the state of the church, and the 
great events that should take place respecting it, from that 
time to the end of the world, and of its perfect and glorious 
state from that period forever and ever; and of the endless 
punishment of all her implacable enemies. And many of the 
predictions in this book have been already accomplished; 
others are daily fulfilling before our eyes, which is a constant 
miracle, of the most indisputable kind, evidencing the divine 
original of this prophecy ; and that the things therein foretold, 
which are not yet come to pass, wdll all be accomplished in 
their season. 

And as the divine inspired writings, given to the Jewish 
church, conclude with an intimation that they should have 
nothing more of this kind, till the promised Messiah did come, 
and a command carefully to keep and observe what they had 
received ; so this book concludes w^ith a declaration, that there 
should be no addition to divinely inspired writings given to 
the Christian church ; and, therefore, mankind must look for 
no more ; but are commanded carefully to observe and obey 
what was then revealed, without adding any thing to it, or 
taking from it, until Christ shall come to judgment. 

God having thus completed a revelation containing every 
thing he saw necessary and proper to make it a sufficient, 
perfect, and unerring rule for his church to the end of the 
world, and every way adapted to answer all the desired ends 
of a divine revelation, attended with aU the evidence that can 
be reasonably desired, that it is from God, and the whole that 
he ever will give, the use and end of miracles has, of course, 
ceased ; and therefore the church is to expect no more, or any 
more prophets inspired to foretell things to come, not already 
foretold in the Holy Scriptures. And whatever pretences any 
may make of working miracles, and whatever miracles may 
be really wrought, in support of any pretended truths or insti- 
tutions, or system of religion, the church of Christ has no 
liberty to pay the least regard to them ; but ought to renounce 
all such pretences with abhorrence ; and to hearken to them, 
and regard them in the least, is to renounce the Bible, and the 
God who has given it to his church. Nor have we any war- 
rant to pay the least regard to any who pretend to a spirit of 
prophecy, even though the things they foretell come to pass ; 


but, on the contrary, ought wholly to disregard and renounce 
such pretences, being certain from divine revelation that they 
are not from God, and cannot in the least strengthen the evi- 
dence of the divine authority of the Bible, or of any truth con- 
tained in it ; but have a contrary tendency. And to pay any 
regard to them, is really to slight the Bible, and may give 
Satan an advantage, and opportunity to introduce the most 
gross and fatal delusions.* 

This general view of the Holy Scriptures, and the observa- 
tions that have been made, are designed to exhibit no incon- 
siderable part of the evidence we have, that they do indeed 
contain a revelation from God, and may with the greatest 
safety be relied upon as such. But there are many other 
evidences of this, some of which ought to be brought into 
view, when this subject is considered. And it may be proper 
now to mention a number of arguments to prove that the 
writings contained in the Bible are a revelation from God, in 
which several things that have been akeady hinted will be 

I. The series of miracles which have been UTOught, as a 
testimony that this revelation is from God, is a standing, un- 
deniable proof of it. These have been in some measiure 
brought into view, in the observations above ; from which the 
propriety and importance of these miracles, and the end for 
which they were ^vrought, appear. That these miracles were 
really wrought, we have as great evidence as the nature of the 
case will admit ; and not the least ground of suspicion and 
doubt; especially when we consider the times and circum- 
stances of them, and their apparent design, and the nature 
and contents of the revelation, the credit of which they are 
designed to establish. These things have been particularly 
and largely considered by many, and therefore are only men- 
tioned here, except the last, which will be attended to in the 

II. The numerous prophecies which are contained in the 

* The church of Rome claims it as the mark of a true church, to be able to 
work miracles, and assert that this is essential to the true church of Christ, and 
pretend to have this evidence that they are the only true catholic church, viz., 
that a multitude of miracles have been, and still arc, wrought by them. Eut 
this is so far from being an evidence of a true church, that their pretending to 
such a power is an infallible mark and evidence that it is a false church ; and 
this is warrant sufficient to condemn and renounce it as such, without being at 
the pains of examining all their pretended miracles, to see if they be real mira- 
cles or not. If that church could be supported and proved to be right, by the 
Holy Scriptures, we ought to own it as a true church ; but if not, a thousand 
miracles will not prove any thing in its favor ; but even their pretending to 
work miracles, and appealing to these, is a demonstration that it is not a true 
church, as this is a slight and rejection of the word of God. 


Bible, with their exact accomplishment, are a standing, clear 
evidence that it is a revelation from God. The certain inde- 
pendent foreknowledge of future events, or of any thing to 
come, all will grant, belongs to the true God alone. There- 
fore we find Jehovah challenging this as his owai prerogative ; 
and his declaring what will be, and bringing it to pass ac- 
cordingly, is asserted to be a demonstration that it is the true 
God who speaks. And he says, that he who can do this, does 
prove himself to be God. " Produce your cause, saith the 
Lord ; bring forth your strong reasons, saith the King of Jacob. 
Let them bring them forth, and show what shall happen. 
— Show the things that are to come hereafter, that we may 
know that ye are gods." " I, even I am the Lord, and beside 
me there is no Savior. I have declared, and have saved, and 
I have showed, when there was no strange god among you ; 
therefore, ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am 
God." When Jehovah brought Israel out of Egypt, he de- 
monstrated that he was the only true God, and they renounced 
all other gods ; then he foretold what would befall them, both 
in promises and threatenings, and a gi*eat number of predic- 
tions, which had actually come to pass in their sight ; there- 
fore they were his witnesses, as they were witnesses of this 
fact, which was sufficient to support his character, as the only 
true God, in opposition to all other pretended gods. Jehovah 
tells them that one end of his thus foretelling events, and then 
bringing them to pass, was to give them undeniable proof 
that he was the true God, who spoke to them by Moses, etc., 
and leave them inexcusable, if they should acknowledge any 
other God. " I have declared the former things from the be- 
ginning ; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I showed 
them ; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass. Because 
I knew that thou art obstinate, and thy neck is an ii'on sinew, 
and thy brow brass ; I have even from the l^eginning declared 
it to thee : before it came to pass, I showed it thee, lest thou 
shouldest say mine idol hath done Ihcm, and my graven 
image, and my molten image, hath commanded them." (Is. 
xlviii. 8, 4, 5.) ' 

Though they had in many other ways good evidence that 
he Avas the true God, in whose name Moses spake and acted; 
yet God, knowing their evil disposition, and how prone they 
were to unbelief, and to turn away from him to other gods, in 
his great condescension and goodness, took care to give and 
heap up more abundant standing evidence that they had in- 
deed the oracles of the true God, who was the God of Israel, 
by foretelling innumerable events, and then bringing them to 
pass before their eyes. When Moses \ST:ought the numerous 



signs and wonders in Egypt, he foretold these events before 
they took place ; and so most of the miracles wrought by the 
hand of Moses at the Red Sea, and in the wilderness, were 
foretold immediately before they took place ; and also many 
things of which we have an account in the books of Joshua, 
Judges, and the two books of Samuel, etc. To such predic- 
tions as these, which were brought to pass immediately the 
above cited words seem to have particular reference, God 
says, " They went forth out of my mouth, and I showed 
them ; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass." In this 
way they had not only the evidence which the miracles them- 
selves gave of the truth, in favor of which they were wrought ; 
but the prediction and the immediate accomplishment was a 
yet further evidence that he who wrought the miracle spoke 
and acted under the influence, and according to the dictates, 
of the omniscient God. In this way were most of the miracles 
wrought by Christ and his apostles. 

But there are almost innumerable prophecies in the Bible 
which foretell things to come, that were not to take place im- 
mediately ; but a long time, and numbers of them many ages, 
after the predictions were published. Many predictions of 
this kind are contained in the writings of Moses, which fore- 
tell a multitude of events respecting that nation, which have 
been exactly fulfilled. And indeed great part of the religious 
institutions and worship enjoined in the Mosaic ritual are so 
many prophecies of what should take place in the person, 
character, and kingdom of Christ, as they are appointed types 
and shadows of these things, and have been exactly fulfilled 
in them. This is particularly attended to and illustrated in 
the Epistle to the Hebrews. This is a strong argument that 
these institutions and laws were made by the only true God, 
who knows what is to come, even all his own designs and 
works that are future. 

A great part of the writings of Moses and the prophets are 
prophecies that respect Christ, his incarnation, his sufferings, 
and the glory that should follow in the salvation of men, and 
his kingdom. In these writings it is foretold that he should 
be the seed of Abraham by Isaac, that he should be of the 
tribe of Judah, and the family of David ; should be born of a 
virgin in the town of Bethlehem ; that he should be poor and 
despised, rejected, hated and put to death by the Jews and 
Gentiles, joining together to perpetrate this horrid deed. The 
particular time of his appearance and death is pointed out ; 
and a great number of particulars relating to his life, death, 
and resurrection are foretold ; all which have been exactly ful- 
filled. They also foretell the rejection of the Jews, and calling 


of the Gentiles to be the people of God, and share in the 
blessings of Christ's kingdom ; and speak much of the extent 
and glory of his kingdom, and particularly foretell that it 
should rise, prevail, and fill the world after the ruin of the 
Roman monarchy, and shall continue forever. Christ and his 
apostles did constantly appeal to these propliecies, as most 
plainly, and with the greatest exactness, predicting what took 
place in Jesus of Nazareth. Christ himself, after his death 
and resurrection, addresses those who were wholly at a loss 
what to think of these things, in the following words : " O, 
fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have 
spoken ! Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and 
to enter into his glory ? And beginning at Moses, and aU the 
prophets, he expounded unto them, in all the Scriptures, the 
things concerning himself" The apostle Peter publicly ap- 
peals to them, and says, " God hath spoken of these things 
by the mouth of all the prophets, since the world began. For 
Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord 
your God raise up unto you, of your brethren, like unto me. 
And it shall come to pass, that every soul which wiU not hear 
that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people. Yea, 
and all the prophets from Samuel, and those that follow after, 
as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days." 
And St. Paul declares, that in bearing testimony to the truth 
of Christianity, and preaching the gospel, he asserted " no 
other things than those which the prophets and Moses did 
say should come." And with this argument, taken from 
the fulfilment of prophecies in Jesus of Nazareth, the first 
preachers of the gospel often put to silence and confounded 
the opposing Jews, and convinced many that Jesus was the 

The \vritings of the New' Testament contain many predic- 
tions. Christ particularly foretold his death, and his resurrec- 
tion on the third day after, — who should betray him, and who 
should deny him, — the gift of the Spirit to the apostles in his 
miraculous powers, — what treatment they should receive 
from the Jews,-— what support they should have, and what 
should be their siiccess. He, in a very particular manner, 
foretold the calamities that should come on the nation of the 
Jews, and the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple ; and 
said this should come to pass before all that generation did go 
off the stage of life. And though to human appearance these 
events were not merely improbable, but even impossible, yet 
they all came to pass exactly agreeable to the prediction. 

But passing over many other instances of prophecy, — both 
of Christ and his apostles, and others in the primitive churchi 


and the particular fulfilment of their predictions, — that re- 
markable one of St. Paul, (2 The.s. chap, ii.,) of the grand 
apostasy in the Christian church, by the rise and reign of one 
whom he calls the "man of sin" and "wicked one," — by 
which the pope and the false church of Rome are exactly 
described, together with his final overthrow and destruction, 
is worthy of particular attention. This was then the most 
incredible and unUkely to come to pass of almost any event 
whatsoever; — that the emperor of Rome should be taken out 
of the way, to give opportunity for this apostasy, and the exal- 
tation of this man of sin in the church of Christ, etc. But 
this is all come to pass ; and this apostasy in the church, with 
all its circumstances and attendants, together with the general 
state of the church, and of the world down to the day of judg- 
ment, are yet more particularly and fully foretold in the reve- 
lation which Jesus Christ gave to the apostle John after his 
ascension. In this prophecy, many things are foretold which 
were then future, and which have already come to pass, and 
others are daily fulfilling in the sight of all who have wisdom 
to observe and discern ; from which there is a standing and 
increasing public evidence of the truth of the Christian religion, 
sufficient to silence and convince all the opposers of Christi- 
anity, would they honestly attend to the voice of reason. 

From the view we have now taken of the prophecies con- 
tained in the Bible, and their fulfilment, the following partic- 
ulars may be observed. 

1. Those predictions which have been exactly fulfilled are 
numerous, and made at different times, and by different per- 
sons ; and most of them were made publicly ; and the events 
foretold are many of them of a public-nature, and lie open to 
the examination of all. Therefore, if they were not given by 
the omniscient God, it cannot be supposed the events would, 
in so many instances, answer to the predictions so exactly, 
and not fail in one among so many ; for this may well be 
considered as impossible. 

2. There is all the evidence that can be desired, that many 
of these predictions were given long before the events took 
place, and while there was not the least ground, from any 
thing that then appeared, to expect they would ever come to 
pass. Thus all the prophecies in the Old Testament, which 
have been fulfilled in the days of Christ's appearance on earth, 
and of the apostles, and since, were certainly \M-itten and pub- 
lished, and in the hands of the Jewish church, long before the 
events took place. And prophecies of those things relating to 
the pope, and the church of Rome, and the kings of the earth 
who commit fornication with her, and join to support her, 


which have come to pass, and are now taking place in the 
world, were published long before any of these things took 
place, or there was any appearance or probability that they 
ever would come to pass. And in many instances, all appear- 
ances, to human view, were against it. 

3. Those prophecies are such, and the times and manner in 
which they are given such, as become an almighty, omniscient, 
infinitely wise and good Being. They are given in an orderly 
manner, with an apparent good design, and suited to answer 
important ends; — to establish the character of those who 
spake and wrote in his name, as men inspired by God, and 
})rove that he was the omniscient God who spoke, and so to 
be a clear, standing evidence that it is a divine revelation, 
most evidently distinguished from all possible deception and 
imposture ; — to confirm the faith of the friends of God, and 
direct, support, and comlbrt them, under all dark appearances 
and afflictions, etc. 

Surely, tliey who would honestly attend to these things, 
and carefully consider and examine the prophecies contained 
in the Bible, with the exact I'ulfilment of so many of them, 
must be sensible that they afford clear and abundant evidence 
that the writings in this book are from God, as the prophecies 
found in it could not come by the will and contrivance of 
man ; but these holy men of God evidently spake as they 
were moved by the Holy Ghost. 

III. The WTitJngs in the Old Testament, and those in the 
New, reflect light and evidence on each other, that they are 
from God. 

This appears from what has been observed on the preced- 
ing argument from prophecy : for the exact fulfilment of so 
many of the types and express predictions in the Old Testa- 
ment, by the events and things of which we have a history in 
the New, does abundantly establish the credit of those writ- 
ings as given by divine inspiration ; and, at the same time, 
they prove Ihe divine original of Christianity, and, therefore, 
that the writings in the New Testament are I'rom God. And 
the perfect consistence and harmony between the writings of 
the Old Testament and those of the New, does also afford 
a stril\ing argument of the divine original of each of them. 
Moreover, Christ and his apostles constantly appeal to the 
writings of Moses and the prophets, the Scriptures, as of divine 
authority, and the oracles, of God. This establishes the credit 
of all those WTitings as given by inspiration of God, so far as 
the authority and testimony of Christ and the apostles are of 
any weight, and worthy of regard ; so that, if the ^vritings in 
the New Testament be from God, the Old Testament is from 


him also, and is handed down to us uncorrupted, unless it has 
been corrupted since that time, which is many ways impossi- 
ble, as might be easily shown, were there need of it. At the 
same time, the prophecies contained in the Old Testament, 
of those very events which are recorded in the New, prove the 
latter to be from God, as has been shown. In a word, the 
writings in the Old Testament are all established as the ora- 
cles of God by those in the New ; and that the \\Titings in the 
New Testament are by divine inspiration, there is much and 
clear evidence from the writings of the Old. So that there 
couid not be so much, so great evidence of the divine author- 
ity of either of them, if we had only one, without the other. 

The Jews did not, indeed, acknowledge that their Scriptures 
were fulfilled in Jesus Clirist, and continue as a body to reject 
the gospel as not from God. But this is so far from being 
any evidence against the divinity of the writings of the New 
Testament, that it is a great confumation of it. For it was 
foretold by the prophets, whose Avritings they acknowledge to 
be from God, that they should thus reject Christ and the gos- 
pel, and for this be cast off by God, and the church be called 
by another name ; so that their unbelief and opposition to the 
gospel is a clear and standing evidence of the ti'uth of it. 

IV. The great care taken by Jews and Christians to receive 
no WTitings as divinely insphed but those of which they had 
proper evidence that they were such, and to preserve those 
which they did receive as such from being corrupted or altered, 
is a further evidence that these WTitings are from God. If 
God has given a standing revelation to men, which is com- 
mitted to writing, he A\dll doubtless take care in his providence 
that it shall be received on good evidence and preserved mi- 
corrupt ; and that it shall be handed down to posterity in such 
manner and chcumstances, as that all future generations shall 
have good evidence that it was with proper care and caution 
received at first, and not without good evidence that it was 
of divine authority, and tliat it has been lianded down to 
them uncorrujit. And when we find the writings of the Bible 
were received and handed down to us in this manner, it carries 
an evidence that it is from God, which otherwise we could 
not have. That the \vritings of the Old and New Testaments 
have been thus received, and carefully preserved uncorrupt, 
has been abundantly proved by those who have written on the 
subject. It would swell this chapter beyond its designed 
brevity to produce this evidence at large. It may suflice only 
to observe here, that Jews and Christians have been a guard' 
with respect to each other, so as to render it impossible there 
should be any alteration made in the writings of the Old 


Testament, in favor of, or against either, without being de- 
tected by the other. And among Christians, the different sects 
and opposite parties, which early sprung up in the church, 
made it impossible that they should agree to alter and con-upt 
those writings, which were received as divine oracles by them 
all ; and if one sect or party had attempted it, they must have 
been detected by others. 

V. The consistence and harmony found in the Scriptures 
is another argument of their divine original. The agreement 
between the WTitings of the Old Testament and those of the 
New has been already mentioned ; but the agreement of every 
particular part with the whole, and of every sentiment and 
sentence with each other, is the fact now intended. A di- 
vine revelation must be perfectly consistent and harmonious 
throughout, though it consists of many parts, and be made by 
many different men, and at different times and ages distant 
from each other. Therefore, if any real, material contradic- 
tions or inconsistencies can be found in this book, it will be 
a sufficient reason for rejecting it, as not from God. There 
may be seeming contradictions, at first view, to a super- 
ficial reader, and to one who does not attend to it with 
honesty and candor, but with prejudice and disaffection. 
This we know to be the case with respect to human writings, 
in many instances, when the fault lies wholly in the igno- 
rance or prejudice of the objector, and the upright and judi- 
cious know them to be perfectly consistent. How much 
more may we expect it will be so with respect to those 
writings which come from God, and treat of the sublime 
things respecting his being, character, kingdom, designs, laws, 
works, etc., and which must be really contrary to every wrong 
propensity and lust of man ! 

This, indeed, we find to be verified. Many have thought 
they have found numerous contradictions in the Bible ; and 
its enemies have eagerly searched to find them, and have used 
aU their art and plausible coloring to make them appear to be 
real contradictions, and urged them with all their powers 
against revelation. But this has turned to the advantage of 
the Holy Scriptures, and been the occasion of making their 
consistence and harmony more evident and certain than if no 
such accusation had been brought against them. For the 
objections of this kind have been critically examined, and 
found to be entirely groundless. And since all the wit and 
art of men of the best abilities, and under the greatest ad- 
vantages to try, cannot find any real contradictions in - them, 
and those which have been most plausibly urged, or have had 
the greatest appearance of inconsistencies, at first view, ap- 


pear, upon careful and thorough examination, to be perfectly 
consistent, this has cast new light on the subject, and made it 
more abundantly evident and certain that there is, indeed, no 
inconsistency to be found in them. 

This is a very powerful argument that they are given by 
divine inspiration. For if those writings were only the con- 
trivance of men, it appears impossible that so many men, 
who lived in ditferent ages, of ditierent natural tempers, and 
in such difi'erent and various circumstances and connections, 
writing on such a variety of subjects, A\'ith such ditlerence of 
manner, style, and expression, should so perfectly agree ; and 
that even in those passages which at first view, and to a 
cursory, inattentive observer, may seem to contradict each 
other. There can be no parallel instance produced under 
heaven, of any number of writers thus agreeing, though they 
lived in the same age ; and it is difRcult to find any one 
author, not inspired, consistent with himself throughout. 
Therefore, this consistence and harmony running through the 
writings of such a number of men, who lived in different ages, 
and which took up the space of fifteen hundred ye